Manhunt puts Janesville residents on edge, leads to disruptions

Manhunt puts Janesville residents on edge, leads to disruptions

An ongoing search for a man suspected of burglarizing a Rock County gun store Tuesday and later threatening schools and political leaders caused concern and disruption for many Janesville residents Friday.

Authorities are seeking 32-year-old Joseph A. Jakubowski in connection with the theft of guns from the Armageddon Gun and Ammo Shop on Highway 14 in Janesville on Tuesday night.

Schools in the city were closed for the day, leading to plenty of last-minute child care decisions for parents. Some parents expressed anxiety over their safety and that of their children while the allegedly armed and dangerous burglar remained on the loose Friday.

Angie Losee, who owns Angie’s on Main, a downtown Janesville gift shop, brought her daughter, Mia and her daughter’s friend, Emma, both fourth graders at Lincoln Elementary, in the shop with her so she could keep an eye on them.

“(I’m) just keeping my eyes open for anything suspicious,” Losee said. “It’s really scary to know that somebody’s out there with a lot of weapons and your kids could potentially (be) in danger.”

Losee said Thursday’s lockdown at her daughter’s school was a terrifying moment, but she’s thankful nobody was hurt.

“(I was) happy to see her, because you just don’t know. We hugged (afterward),” Losee said. “(The kids) will be talking about it for a long time, I’m sure.”

For some students, being off of school brought mixed emotions.

“It kind of sucked for some of us because we have a field trip.” said Dwayne Redler, a senior at Craig High School. “Otherwise, it’s better off to not sit in a building in one classroom all day to think that’s a safe place when it’s not.”

Redler, like many in Janesville, had the manhunt on his mind as he spent time with friends downtown.

“I’ve seen four cops out here as I’ve been doing this, another one passing by,” Redler said. “I’m watching my back.”

Marvin Helwig spent the morning with his granddaughters, Emma, 12, and Kaitlin, 8, playing outside at Riverside Park. Both girls’ parents had to work Friday and he said while he was happy to be their last-minute babysitter, the ongoing manhunt had him worried.

“You never know after that thing out east where all those children got killed, it’s scary,” Helwig said. “For somebody to steal all those guns, what’s he going do with all those guns?”

Helwig said he hoped to see the situation resolved soon.

“Makes you even leery about going to the grocery store,” he said.

In addition to schools in Janesville and Milton, UW-Rock County and Blackhawk Technical College canceled classes Friday. Due to safety concerns, the Janesville Jets hockey team announced it would postpone Friday’s game.

A representative from the Janesville Mall confirmed to News 3 that Janesville police upped their presence at the mall as a safety precaution.