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September 2, 2014

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FBI offers rewards for information about lasers pointed at aircraft

There’s a new target on the FBI’s wanted list.

The FBI announced a 90-day national campaign today offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of anyone aiming a laser at an aircraft.

Since 2005, when the FBI began tracking laser strikes, the number of people targeting aircraft with laser pointers has spiked by more than 1,100 percent, officials said.

In Nevada, a federal grand jury earlier this year indicted Henderson resident James David Zipf, 30, for allegedly aiming a laser pointer at a Metro Police helicopter six times this year.

Aiming a lasers at an aircraft became a federal violation in 2012 and presents a danger for pilots, passengers and people on the ground, officials said.

To combat the problem, the FBI initially offered rewards out of 12 field offices for information leading to arrests. That led to a 19 percent decrease in the number of reported incidents, officials said.

The program has now been expanded to all 56 FBI field offices.

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