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WARNING - from kelling heath 2015


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Getting home from last weekends kelling star party, a few of us noticed some missing items.  Luckilly nothing too valuable. 

We were on Blue 208

The items were:

  • 2 planishperes
  • wixey inclinometer
  • red torch
  • eyepiece caps
  • dew heater

Luckily nothing too valuable was taken.  It seems bizarre that someone would steal EP caps when presented with the 'opportunity' to pocket the actual EP or maybe even an EP case !

Its the first time we've heard of stuff being stolen. We dont know if it was stolen through the day or at night.

We are careful with our gear, there was a feeling of safety amongst fellow astronomers. We will be ultra careful in future !

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I Agree, been to every one minus the first 2 camps  never had a problem.

was very lucky in some ways as bag had laptop in but I took it to breakfast to look at nights imagery.

Also had Atik 314l camera in box next to bag stolen but not touched ?

Police informed but nothing they can do.

insurance lesson learnt has cost £36.00 to be covered


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may not be astro guys, there was a couple of lads talking to us in the blue field one night, seemed like pleasant enough lads but they were not into astronomy just looking around and wondering what we where doing.

Im sure you are right !   Probably muggles

I will be more wary in the future about people who walk up asking for a look.... thats a shame as i do enjoy sharing the views I get.    Not saying i wont share, far from it, but I'll be cautious. 

Edited by OneEyedSam
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Is it not a bit too hasty to suggest there is a thief at work?

If that list of items belong to different owners, and that was the sum total of missing items, then, considering more valuable pickings were probably

there for the taking, so I don't understand the reasoning. A thief steals either to sell for gain, or just for the hell of it.

Not much profit in that list of alleged stolen Items.

A better option might be just a question of them being mislaid, or inadvertently left somewhere and forgotten.

A lot of psychological damage can be the result of a published report like this. Bad news travels very quickly,

I would hate to think this is based on pure guesswork, with no concrete evidence of a thief being at large.

If it is true, then it is a very sad, and worrying turn of events. I've never heard of thieving at Star Parties,

It's tantamount to sacrilege if this report is proven to be correct, and I am by no means questioning the integrity of the author,

merely suggesting a drastic  change of attitudes may ensue, if it is genuinely the case of a thief at work.


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Teaman's bag of video kit doesn't sound very low value. But it does sound like local kids doing nuisance rather that a concerted attempt to fleece the astro community.

Although, with the amount of high value, largely untraceable kit that we leave lying around in a dark field.........

The pinned security tips thread sounds like a good idea.


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Hi folks, just to clarify, I was at Kelling and know of several folks with stuff going missing this time. This was theft, there is no other viable explanation. Lets forget about dogs or stuff blowing away in the wind, or being mislaid, forgetful owners etc. Not great for the victims to hear this....On no previous Kelling that I went to has a single piece of kit gone missing under suspicious circumstances to my knowledge. And our pitch was scoured afterwards. The thief(s) had a propensity to lift low value items which is odd. As Paul suggests, perhaps local kids doing nuisance. Someone with some other motive other than simply for profit. Our pitch had two planispheres taken amongst other low value gear. You cant by accident just lose two planispheres....The folks I go stargazing with - trips like Kelling -we are careful, we simply don't lose stuff, not even a loose screw or a tent peg.....but this time was different.....

Edited by jonstarrysky
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Is it not a bit too hasty to suggest there is a thief at work?.

Afraid not.

My purpose for starting this thread was to heighten people's awareness.


Teaman's bag of video kit doesn't sound very low value.

No, and he did say that he had informed the police, which implies some certainty on his part. Edited by OneEyedSam
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After Friday nights observing at Kelling I was missing a couple of eyepiece caps and the following day I searched everywhere several times, and I had got to the point of assuming I had dropped them during the night and somebody had picked them up early in the morning, from my pitch, even though the thought was distasteful to me. I found them eventually on the eyepieces ! The barrel caps were inside the eye lens caps so snugly and on the two 18mm BGO'S.

Eyepiece caps are so easily misplaced.

Planispheres, dew heaters, etc are something else.

Edited by Saganite
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This is a very disappointing read.

Small thefts going uncaught may lead to larger items of significant value also disappearing in the future. We all have so much valuable equipment left out at star camps during the day and nights, often unattended as we wander about socialising. The renewed interest in astronomy on TV and in the press may be an incentive to thieves to visit our haunts. They probably are beginning to realise just how much the gear is worth and unfortunately for use how trusting we are. Not too long ago a societies building was burgled and several items of equipment stolen, I believe solar scopes were some of the items, they had shown its views and position in a post on the web extolling its remoteness and fields of nothing but the odd cows around it.

We will all have to re asses our security, not only at home but whilst away at star events.

It is a sorry state of affairs, but maybe a statement of things to come as astronomy becomes even more popular.

One point is that we all post items here on SGL, but it is not a closed forum. It can be read by anyone on any computer. We all talk about our equipment and often its costs. Any thief can read up and soon can assess just how much money is being spent by our members. It may be an idea to leave only certain parts open to be read unless a member. I realise that it will stop some from becoming members as they cannot assess whether or not they want to join. Possibly self defeating!


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