Telescope stolen from blind Buddhist priest's home in Grover Beach

For the past month, members and friends of the Pure Land Buddhist Temple in Grover Beach enjoyed looking at craters on the moon through a telescope situated on a patio outside Priest Randall Massey’s home.

Massey, who is legally blind, also used one of the telescope’s removable pieces to view items such as street signs at a distance.

But sometime between midnight and 4 a.m. Tuesday, the telescope and a tripod were stolen just 10 feet from Massey’s bedroom in Grand Avenue Mobile Home Park.

Massey noticed the gray-and-black 3-foot-long telescope was missing when he walked outside about 3:50 a.m. to check the cloud cover. Nothing else was touched, leaving him perplexed.

Massey reported the theft to Grover Beach police Tuesday but did so with mixed feelings. While he’d like to have the telescope back, he doesn’t want someone to go to jail over the theft.

“It kind of makes me uncomfortable,” he said. “It wasn’t a professional thief. It’s kind of a hard thing to pawn. I figure it’s probably junior high or high school kids.”

Massey chose not to file a formal report, so no one has been assigned to investigate, said police Cmdr. John Peters. However, he added, police are likely to learn if someone tries to pawn the telescope.

The thief is also missing parts of the telescope — some removable parts were located inside Massey’s home when the incident occurred.

“Now I have a bunch of optics without a telescope,” Massey said. “If you’re going to steal from me, you should have knocked on the door and asked for the rest of the stuff. Come knock on the door and get the rest of the lenses.”

Anyone with information can contact Massey at 489-8972 or by writing to P.O. Box 0981, Grover Beach, CA 93433. Grover Beach police can be reached at 473-4507.