SUSSEX - Residents and churchgoers had a peaceful Easter weekend despite threats of violence to local churches, which were purportedly sent by fugitive Joseph Jakubowski.
Jakubowski, 32, was being sought in a joint local, state and federal task force for a number of charges and threats of violence in the Rock County area and nationally. He is suspected of stealing guns from a Janesville gun shop in early April and had been on the run ever since, prompting a massive manhunt that proved successful when he was captured Friday, April 14.
He has also allegedly made threats against elected officials and schools, and reportedly sent a rambling manifesto to President Donald Trump critical of government and religion.
The case moved to Sussex when a letter containing threats to local churches during the weekend of Easter Sunday was sent via the U.S. Postal Service to a Sussex business, which police are not disclosing.
The village of Sussex reported there were no incidents throughout the weekend on social media: "Thank you to all of the public for their support and to our public safety personnel for their work this weekend. Easter celebrations were a success. Thanks for continuing to make Sussex the special place that it is."
Police are working with the Federal Government to analyze the authenticity of the letter.
"How quickly we’re going to get a turn-around to say yes or no this was Jakubowski, I can’t say," said Lt. Philip Carini of the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department.
While Jakubowski was apprehended ahead of Easter weekend, patrols were increased on Good Friday and continued throughout the weekend.
"Mr. Jakubowski has been taken into custody, but that’s not to say that because of his arrest, we’re not doing anything," Carini said. "We’re still going to continue to investigate this to be sure that if, in fact, there was a copycat, that we’re going to try and identify this person. We’re still going to continue on with the plan. We’re going to continue investigating this as well as increasing our patrols.”
The letter looks like it was handwritten, but was most likely typed on a computer with a font that looks like handwriting, Carini said.
Carini said even though he cannot confirm or deny this was a copycat, he encouraged Sussex residents not to change their Easter plans.
"Attend your church service as normal," Carini said. "All we ask is be extra vigilant and look for suspicious activity; notify the local police department or call 911 if they feel that’s appropriate. Again, we can’t authenticate whether this was actually a threat or not. We’re going to treat it as though it is, but I don’t think people should be changing their plans.”
Statewide manhunt for Jakubowski
The Vernon County Sheriff’s Department received a report at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13, of a suspicious person on a farmer’s property on Estes Road near Readstown, 125 miles from Jakubowski's hometown of Janesville.
Investigators assigned to the Jakubowski case were sent to that location along with tactical support to assist local authorities in determining whether it was related to the manhunt for Jakubowski.
According to police, a male matching the description of Jakubowski was camping on the property and refused to leave when asked to do so.
Authorities established a perimeter and tactical support was sent in to investigate.
Shortly before 6 a.m. the following day, tactical officers took him into custody without incident and positively identified him as Jakubowski.
Jakubowski was found by authorities with a cache of deadly weapons, including five guns, ammunition and a sword.