Man wanted for Clintonville carjacking no longer believed to be in woods

Seth Genereau captured on a trail camera near Washburn.
Seth Genereau captured on a trail camera near Washburn.(Bayfield County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 10:17 AM CDT
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BAYFIELD COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - Officials in Northwestern Wisconsin say they’ve received no reports since Friday about a man suspected in a carjacking in Clintonville.

Seth Genereau, 23, was captured on a trail camera Friday, Sept. 23, in the Washburn area in Bayfield County.

He had escaped into some woods after a chase and crash.

“We suspect he is no longer hiding out in the woods because of the recent weather and may have been picked up by someone driving by. Based on his behavior, we believe he will elude anyone to avoid confrontation. The Sheriff’s Office still encourages everyone to report possible sightings by calling 911,” reads a statement from the Bayfield County Sheriff’s Office. “If any significant information is learned we will share it.”

A felony warrant has been issued for Genereau in Waupaca County in connection to the carjacking in Clintonville.

Clintonville Police say Genereau arrived at a gas station on the city’s north side in a stolen 1965 red Ford out of Hortonville, which was had a mechanical issue. Gas station clerk Jeremy Merrigan said Genereau tried to break into his car, which was locked. Then he spotted a minivan, driven by an 81-year-old Michigan man, coming out of the car wash.

Merrigan said, “He came up to the gentleman, told him he was having some car trouble in the back, so the old guy got into the back of his car, and as soon as he did that the younger guy jumped into the driver’s seat to drive away. The old guy went to grab him, fell down in the process, scraped his elbow and the guy was gone.”

The 81-year-old victim is from Michigan but has close ties to the area. He’s recovering from his injuries.

Genereau drove away in a black, 2020 Chrysler Pacifica with Michigan license plate DWF 1599. On Sept. 22, the Iron County Sheriff’s Office located the vehicle and attempted to stop the driver, who took off at high rates of speed on US Highway 2. The driver turned north on State Highway 13 into Bayfield County. The vehicle hit another vehicle and continued on.

Bayfield County deputies tracked the car to a driveway on Friendly Valley Road. The suspect, identified as Seth Genereau, ditched it there and stole another car, officials say.

About 100 yards away, the stolen vehicle got stuck and Genereau ran into the woods. He has not been located.

Genereau, 23, is charged in Waupaca County court with two counts of Operating a Motor Vehicle Without Owner’s Consent, including one count with an enhanced penalty because the victim was an elderly person; Robbery with Use of Force, with an Elder Person Enhancer; Physical Abuse of an Elder Person; and Theft of Movable Property.

Police say Genereau is no stranger to law enforcement in Waupaca County as he’s being investigated for other crimes as well.

Anyone who thinks they’ve seen Genereau or has information that could lead to his arrest should call 911 or the Clintonville Police Department, (715) 823-3117.

Police say Genereau has a New London address.