November 15, 2013

More eyes on E'town Thrift Shop


ELIZABETHTOWN — A number of thefts at the Thrift Shop here prompted acquisition of security cameras.

“In one case, someone broke a window in a back room and threw the items out,” said Rick Olcott, electrical supervisor at NYCO Minerals in Willsboro.

“A lot of volunteers are in their 80s, so it is harder for them to be all over the shop.” 

The company recently donated video surveillance equipment consisting of four cameras, a monitor and assorted hardware, worth $792, to the Thrift Shop, which occupies the second floor of the Deer’s Head Inn on Court Street in Elizabethtown.

Olcott and Cameron White will install the cameras sometime soon.


The ecumenical shop provides funds to assist four local churches: St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, Church of Good Shepherd Episcopal and United Church of Christ in Elizabethtown and First Congregational Church in Lewis.

Each church generally receives about $600 per month each after expenses are paid. 

In addition, the shop helps those in the community by directly donating items to families who can use a hand. 

People in need can obtain cards from Adirondack Community Action Program, the Elizabethtown Food Shelf and agencies such as Essex County Social Services, that they can use at the Thrift Shop to obtain items at no cost. 


The shop’s configuration of at least eight rooms branching off a hallway makes it difficult to keep an eye on shoppers, and the door to the establishment is around the corner from the checkout area. 

“We usually have two people here, but when someone is stocking the shelves and the other is at the counter, it’s impossible to see what’s going on,” said Thrift Shop President Cathleen White, who is Cameron’s mother. 

In another theft, she said, “one of our shopping bags was packed full of clothes, and then they left it outside the building, where it was discovered before they came back for it. 

“I don’t think it was for needy people, as we welcome those who need help and will give things to them.”

The unsettling incidents prompted the Thrift Shop Board of Directors to ask NYCO for security cameras.

“We felt it was a safety issue,” Cathleen White said. 

Olcott said his wife, Gay, wrote a letter to NYCO, “and Susan Manning, the human-resources manager, had it approved.

“NYCO is committed to help support the community.”

“We just thought they were going to give us a used system,” a pleased Cathleen added.

“We were very happily surprised” to receive all new equipment.

Email Alvin Reiner: