PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – An Oregon man has been placed on probation for aiming a laser pointer at a police plane a year after receiving it from Portland police.

44-year-old Nikolay P. Bocharnikov was sentenced to three years’ probation Tuesday.

Authorities say Bocharnikov aimed the green pointer at a Portland Police Bureau aircraft in July 2017.

The plane was approaching a Portland International Airport runaway and the laser briefly blinded the pilot.

Officials say the locksmith was hired in 2016 to unlock a stolen car and police told him he could keep some items from the vehicle.

Bocharnikov took the pointer, which remained untouched for a year until he decided to test its range on various objects.

He says he did not believe it would reach the passing airplane.

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