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Thieves target Auckland icon

Zeiss telescope news

Police are asking for the public’s help following a burglary at one of Auckland’s astronomical icons.

An investigation is underway after thieves stole sheets of copper from the dome of the Zeiss telescope at the Stardome Observatory and Planetarium on Maungakiekie, Epsom on Sunday.

It appears the offenders have accessed the telescope dome roof of the observatory via scaffolding that is currently being used to repair the planetarium and observatory roof.

The copper has been pulled off of the dome and rolled into balls and thrown off the edge of the scaffolding.

Inspector Rachel Dolheguy, Area Prevention Manager Auckland City East, says Police are aware copper is a commodity of choice for thieves, but is urging anyone with information to come forward.

“Stealing copper from one of Auckland’s icons is deplorable,” she said.

“If anyone has unwillingly purchased copper and you are unaware of where it has come from please come forward. We want to reassure the community that those responsible will be held to account.”

Stardome CEO Victoria Travers says it’s estimated more than a million people have looked through the Zeiss telescope since it was installed in 1967.

“It’s so upsetting to see the damage to our beautiful telescope dome, which has been a gorgeous feature of our building for 56 years.

“Over half of the copper has been stripped off, and we won’t be able to use our Zeiss telescope until the dome is fixed.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police via our 105 phone service or online using ‘Update My Report’. Please reference job number P054727538.

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Source:NZ Police

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