Reward Offered To Catch Whoever Is Flashing Lasers At Rescue Helicopters At Selfridge

coast guard helicopter
Photo credit (photo: WWJ/Charlie Langton)

(WWJ) Someone has been pointing lasers at helicopter pilots flying out Selfridge.

And after two incidents in the last month, a $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible.

Experts say the lasers can cause flash blindness, permanent vision damage, and can cost lives.

Flashing an aircraft with a laser pointer is a federal crime punishable by 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

Per, the most recent laser incident took place in Casco Township in St. Clair County on April 20 during a Coast Guard Training mission. A helicopter operated by the Custom and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations was lit up the week before in Chesterfield Township near 23 Mile Road and I-94. 

A similar incident took place March 17 in Chesterfield Township with another Coast Guard helicopter. 

“These individuals that have targeted our aircraft with lasers need to realize they are committing a federal offense while also jeopardizing our pilots’ vision and life,”  said Marc Sledge, director of Air and Marine Operations for CBP’s Great Lakes Air and Marine Branch in the release. “I am glad that none of the pilots were injured in these recent cases, and we will continue to work with the FBI and FAA to find and identify the perpetrators.”

Individuals with information on any of the cases is encouraged to leave an anonymous tip through the Coast Guard's Investigative Service’s CGIS TIPS app or HERE.