FBI Offering $10,000 Reward For People Who Aim Laser Pointers at Planes

CBS DC

ST. LOUIS — Silence your cellphone. Save the movie commentary for later. And if you know someone who aims a laser pointer at an airplane, give us a call.

A new FBI campaign unveiled Tuesday will place public safety messages during movie previews and is offering rewards of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of anyone who threatens aircraft in a laser attack.

The effort builds on a pilot program launched in February in a dozen cities, including Chicago, Houston, New York, Phoenix and Washington.

For the next 90 days, the bureau’s 56 field offices are offering the rewards.

Federal officials said the deliberate targeting of planes by people with handheld lasers has increased significantly in recent years. In 2005, when the FBI and Federal Aviation Administration began tracking such crimes, fewer than 300 laser attacks occurred. By last year, that number had increased to nearly 4,000, according to…

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