FBI offering reward to find people pointing lasers at planes

Updated: 02/11/2014 6:31 PM | Created: 02/11/2014 1:16 PM

The FBI is offering big money to anyone who has information on people who are pointing bright lasers at planes. It's a growing and dangerous trend called "laser striking."

In a reenactment video given to KOB Eyewitness News 4 from the FBI, you can see a green light beaming from a laser. It's so bright that the pilot used his arms to block it; a distraction that could cause the pilot to lose control. 

"[If] you take the eyes away from a pilot, you've basically put the whole crew in danger- the passengers of the aircraft and folks on the ground as well. So having my eyesight is very important and we take this very, very seriously," said Steve Jangelis, a pilot.

On Tuesday morning at the Albuquerque Sunport, the FBI announced a reward of up to $10,000 for anyone who has information on people who aim lasers at planes. 

In Albuquerque, the FBI and FAA saw 27 laser strikes in 2013; almost double from the year before.

The jump puts Albuquerque on a list of just 11 other cities, including New York City and L.A., where laser striking is happening.

If you're caught, the FBI said, you can face up to 5 years in prison. 

The FBI said it can be hard catching the "laser strikers", that's why they're offering the reward, hoping people will speak up. 

If you have information, call the Albuquerque FBI at 505-889-1300.

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