BURNETT COUNTY -- Burglary charges have been filed in Burnett County Circuit Court against two men following a traffic stop on October 2, 2020, which led to an investigation into suspected stolen items.

Criminal complaints filed in Burnett County Circuit Court charges Christopher J. Hayward, of Webster, WI, and James J. Pijanowski, of Danbury, WI, with Burglary and Theft of a Firearm.

Pijanowski was taken into custody on October 2, 2020, by Burnett County Sheriff’s Office following a traffic stop. Inside the vehicle, Deputies found a Heckler and Kock Super 90 Benelli shotgun, and a check that was suspected to be stolen. Both items were seized as evidence.

Deputies made contact with the people named on the check and they expressed concern that their property in Burnett County may have been burglarized. The shotgun was later identified by them as stolen property as well.

When Deputies arrived at the property, located in Swiss Township, an entrance door had been forced open and multiple cupboard doors and closet doors were opened. No one was found inside the residence.

An interview was conducted with Pijanowski during which he said, “ I am sure by now you know that the firearm is stolen.” Pijanowski allegedly went on to state that he had met someone named Christopher Hayes or Hayward recently and that they had gone to the property together. The criminal complaint states that Pijanowski said the door to the residence was already open when they got to the property and that the shotgun was in the first load of items that they took out of the house. Pijanowski allegedly acknowledges helping to load a stolen toolbox, but denied taking any other items, going on to say that Christopher took a ‘down blanket, some "f*****g" furnace filters, and "goofy s**t" like that’.

When shown a photo lineup, Pijanowski identified Christopher J. Hayward, as the person that burglarized the property with him, according to a criminal complaint filed against him.

Christopher J. Hayward, of Webster, WI

Hayward faces charges of Class E Felony Burglary - Arming Self with Dangerous Weapon (Party to a Crime); Class H Felony Theft - Movable Property (Special Facts [firearm]) (Party to a Crime.

Hayward appeared in Burnett County Court on December 16, 2020, regarding these charges as well as charges of Class H Felony - Escape Criminal Arrest; Misdemeanor Resisting or Obstructing an Officer; Misdemeanor Possess Drug Paraphernalia; Misdemeanor Reckless Driving-Cause Bodily Harm; Misdemeanor Operate Without a Valid License; Misdemeanor Fin.Trans.Card-Fraudulent Use (<=$2500) that are filed against him in several other 2020 Burnett County criminal cases. He is scheduled to appear again in January 2021 on his criminal charges.

Hayward is also charged with Misdemeanor Possession of THC and Misdemeanor Possess Drug Paraphernalia in two separate 2020 Washburn County Circuit Court cases. In Sawyer County Circuit Court charges of Misdemeanor Operate Without Valid License were also filed against Hayward in 2020. There are active arrest warrants for Hayward on the court cases in both Washburn County and Sawyer County according to online circuit court records at the time of this post.

James J. Pijanowski, of Danbury, WI

Pijanowski is charged with Class E Felony Burglary - Arming Self with Dangerous Weapon (Party to a Crime); Class H Felony Theft - Movable Property (Special Facts [firearm]) (Party to a Crime; and two counts of Class H Felony Bail Jumping. Several other cases filed against Pijanowski charge him with Class I Felony Possession of Methamphetamine; Class H Felony Bail Jump; Misdemeanor Possess Drug Paraphernalia; and Misdemeanor Operate While Revoked. Pijanowski is scheduled to appear again in January 2021 regarding his charges.

Hayward and Pijanowski are both subject to cash bail bonds which prohibit them from having any contact with the victims of the burglary.

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Last Update: Dec 22, 2020 11:40 am CST

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Crime & Court

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