Uley stargazer has telescope pinched
AMATEUR stargazer Alan Mason has been left in the dark after thieves pinched £1,500 of telescopes and equipment.
Mr Mason, 57, from Uley, found his garden shed had been emptied of his collection of astrological kit last week.
He has been watching the night skies for the past four years in a bid to photograph nebulars and galaxies and was looking forward to seeing a comet pass overhead in the next few days.
But burglars pounced on his unlocked outhouse and made off with a large haul of his stuff.
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"It's frustrating but I've lived here for 20-odd years and this is the first time anything like this has happened," he said.
"The timing of when they stole it is a bit unclear but I think it was probably last Thursday daytime.
"We've bought a lot of locks since."
The thieves, Mr Mason said, would have needed to make three or four trips to and from his shed to heave all the stuff out.
"I'm waiting to see if the insurance company will pay out on it.
"But I'm not going to replace it all immediately – they could just come back and steal it again," he said.
He thinks the thieves were opportunits, rather than specifically targeting that kind of equipment.
Despite stealing his Skywatcher Explorer telescope, they left behind its balancing weights, rendering it almost useless.
A tripod, power tank, red and black toolbox and specialist QHY5 camera were also taken.
Police are appealing for witnesses to call 101, quoting incident 304 of March 7.