Phoenix — Aircraft are being deliberately targeted by people shining lasers at their cockpits. Now, a reward is being offered to catch those who do it.
For the next 60 days, the FBI will offer a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of anyone shining a laser at any police, military, or civilian aircraft. The reward is in addition to a $11,000 reward offered by the Federal Aviation Administration.
“This initiative is being implemented in 12 FBI offices across the country, from Los Angeles to San Juan, Puerto Rico,” said FBI Special Agent In Charge Douglas G. Price.
He made the announcement at the FBI Offices in Phoenix, which is one of those 12 selected offices.
“The offices have been selected based on the number of instances that have occurred in their territory,” he said.
The FBI says there were 3,960 laser strikes reported nationwide in 2013, with an average of almost 11 each day. The number of laser strikes have jumped more than 1,100 percent since 2005.
Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia says it’s a big problem for his department.
“Our pilots experience at least two times a month where we’re attacked by a laser,” Garcia said. “It’s a very serious situation for our pilots. It’s placing their lives in danger, as well as the people on the ground.”