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JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- Law enforcement officers and innocent drivers survived life-threatening situations this past Dec. 31 during a police chase that started in the town of Beloit and ended after a standoff near the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport.

And Rock County Sheriff’s Office squad car cameras caught all of the frantic action along U.S. Highway 51 between Beloit and Janesville.

(Editor's note: For 10 days in April 2017, residents in southern Wisconsin were on edge as authorities launched a nationwide manhunt. Here is a day-by-day look back at the search for Joseph Jakubowski.)

JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- The alarm sounded at the Armageddon Gun Shop on Janesville's north side shortly after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, April 4, 2017. As police responded to the scene and began to assess the situation, a call came in about a car fire that soon would be connected to the burglary. The investigation escalated quickly and residents of southern Wisconsin remained on edge for more than a week while authorities launched a nationwide manhunt.

JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- Joseph A. Jakubowski, the 32-year-old Janesville man suspected of robbing a gun shop and mailing a 161-page manifesto railing against the government to President Donald Trump, had been attempting to "live off the grid," during his time on the run.

At a press conference Friday afternoon, April 14, 2017, at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville, Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden said Jakubowski had been found under a tarp in “very primitive conditions,” looking disheveled and sleep-deprived.

JANESVILLE MESSENGER – The criminal complaint filed Tuesday in Rock County Circuit Court provides insight into Joseph A. Jakubowski’s actions surrounding the burglary April 4, 2017, that set off a nationwide manhunt.

JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- The man wanted in connection with a gun shop burglary had been frustrated with the government and penned a 161-page manifesto that he sent to President Donald Trump, officials said Friday.

Joseph A. Jakubowski , 32, of 811 Glen Street (upper) in Janesville remains at large, and authorities nationwide are looking for him, an FBI spokesman said at a news conference this morning.

At the news conference, which included Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden and Janesville Police Chief David Moore, authorities said the FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the man.

“Basically, he's angry at all government officials,” Spoden said.

The manhunt has forced area school districts into their second day of heightened alerts. 

0403 suspectInvestigators learned early Thursday that Jakubowski has been highly agitated recently regarding a variety of political issues.

He also is the suspect in the burglary Wednesday evening, April 5, 2017, of the Armageddon Gun Shop on U.S. Highway 14 in Janesville. Several high-end weapons are missing, according to police.

School updates:

School District of Janesville, closed:

Based on current information from the Janesville Police Department and the Rock County Sheriff's Office, the School District of Janesville has decided to cancel school Friday, April 7, 2017. Parents will be receiving notifications through the Infinite Campus system about this cancellation.

Janesville parochial schools:

St. Paul's, St. Mary's, St. Williams all are closed, according  to WCLO.

School District of Milton, closed:

All schools in the School District of Milton will be closed today Friday April 7, 2017. With the current situation still unresolved it is our decision that for the safety of our families and staff, the district should close for the day.

Informational updates about co-curricular and extracurricular activities for this evening will be shared later today through Skyward Family e-mails to parents and students.

Parkview School District, closed:

Because the suspect wanted in the theft of numerous weapons and ammo from a Janesville gun shop and then making threats to attack a school is still at large, Parkview will be closed Friday April 7, 2017. Another message will be made later today regarding after school co-curricular and athletic practices and games.

UW-Rock County, closed:

Due to security concerns, all classes and activities on the UW-Rock County campus are canceled for Friday, April 7, 2017 only. Buildings will be locked and closed to all: faculty, staff, students and the public.

Delavan-Darien School District, open today:

Delavan-Darien schools will be open tomorrow, Friday, April 7, but, we will be in a general or soft lockdown situation again as a precautionary measure. All in-town after-school activities are canceled for Friday. The scheduled DDHS baseball games in Mauston will go on as planned.

Elkhorn Area School District, open today:

As a result of this situation and working with local law enforcement, all schools in the District have been put on an alert status. Our buildings are already locked down during the school day with buzzed entrances and video surveillance as well as the WAVE system.

Shortly after Wednesday burglary was discovered, a vehicle fire was reported on Pennycook Lane, a short distance away, according to the news release.

At that scene was evidence of arson and it appears that the burglary and vehicle arson events are connected.

The registered owner of the vehicle involved in the fire is Jakubowski.

Investigators learned early Thursday that Jakubowski has been highly agitated recently regarding a variety of political issues.

Jakubowski also allegeldy made threats to steal weapons and to use them against public officials or at an unspecified school.

As a result, area schools have been notified and the search efforts for Jakubowski have been supplemented by several additional agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation and all local law enforcement agencies.

Jakubowski is considered a suspect in both incidents and is currently wanted by the Rock County Sheriff’s Office for questioning. If anyone has any information regarding Jakubowski’s location, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (608)757-7911.

 

JANESVILLE -- Police closed Riverside Park on Thursday after a pedestrian was killed in an afternoon crash.

“It sounded like someone dropped a load off of a truck,” said Andy York, a man who lives in the area and heard the crash from his house.

The unidentified truck driver had sped through the park, smashing into the back of a parked car, hitting a nearby pedestrian, according to a witness near the scene.

The pedestrian was killed, according to a Janesville police news release.

The Gazette was not able to get the witness's name before police pulled him aside.

The witness said he had just finished playing disc golf in the park and returned to his car.

As he was sitting in his car, he heard a loud crash and looked up as the truck, missing its passenger side front wheel, sped by.

“The truck seemed to be going faster after he hit the parked truck,” the witness said.

The vehicle smashed into a telephone pole on Parkside Drive, snapping the pole in half, and finally came to a stop in the yard of a nearby home.

The speeding vehicle narrowly missed Mike Croft, a man who lives near the park.

He said he spoke to the driver after the truck had stopped.

He said the driver was conscious and able to speak.

The driver was taken away in an ambulance, Croft said.

JANESVILLE -- When detectives first sat down with former Craig High School clerical worker Jessica L. Warner-Reed, they asked her if she knew why police wanted to talk to her. She gave them a one-word answer: "Greed," according to Janesville Police Chief David Moore.

JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- Social media is becoming an important tool for police to communicate with the community and to help solve crimes.

The Janesville Police Department uses a variety of social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Nixle, to get information out to the public.

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