Police warn of serious consequences following laser painting of aircraft over Hamilton
Hamilton Police are warning those people endangering aircraft that they are playing for very high stakes not just in terms of lengthy prison sentences if caught but also in terms of lives potentially lost.
Senior Sergeant Kent Holdsworth said Hamilton Police were contacted three times last night in relation to aircraft being targeted by a green laser light between 8-10pm.
"The first report came from a Cessna aircraft carrying two people about 8.05pm and the pilot described a green light catching up to his aircraft that was flying at 5000ft.
"The next report was at about 9pm and again it was a green light pointed at an aircraft, seven miles north-west of the City. A circus operating opposite the Base at Te Rapa was asked to turn off its outside lights to ensure it wasn't them and they were eliminated from our enquiries."
The third aircraft painted by the offenders was an Air New Zealand flight flying from Auckland to Hamilton carrying 15 passengers on-board.
"The pilot was able to give a location towards the west of the City and officers converged on the area to try and locate those responsible but were unsuccessful."
Mr Holdsworth said if caught those responsible would likely face a charge of endangering transport which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment.
"But the really crucial thing here is that these people may think they're having fun but they are putting the lives of others at genuinely serious risk."
Anyone with any information on the identities of those involved in last night's incidents is asked to contact Mr Holdsworth at the Hamilton Central Police Station on 07 858 6200.
Alternatively information can be left on the Crimestoppers crimeline; 0800 555111.