Beloved Mall Security Guard to Retire
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WICHITA, KS This week will be a sad week for those in Wichita, as another chapter in the town’s history comes to a close. Lester Cassidy has been a security guard at the Wichita Crossings Mall ever since it opened in 1973, and he’ll be turning in his badge, uniform, and flashlight at the end of this week.

Lester is one of the most well-known and well-loved residents of Wichita. He’s watched generations of teen mall rats come and go. He’s given advice. He’s chatted. He’s always been there for a friendly smile and a kind hello. He’s been easily distracted while chatting shoppers’ friends filled their pockets, stuffed their winter jackets with merchandise, and made their escape.

In his 26 years as a mall security guard, Lester has never caught a single shoplifter. He’s never actually prevented a crime. In fact, it’s been reported that approximately 4,293 thefts have occurred during Lester’s shifts, yet he has been unable to prevent a single one. He has, however, informed mall employees of emergency situations, such as severe weather. He’s also expertly managed the successful loading and unloading of displays for annual home shows and craft shows and boat shows. He’s kept employees and patrons alike calm during power outages.

Everyone greets Lester when they come to the mall. In the eyes of Wichita residents, Lester Cassidy is a celebrity. He’s their very own Barney Fife. Things as the mall just won’t be the same without him.

Said an anonymous shoplifter last week, “This sucks." Now I’m gonna have to learn to steal things from under a different security guard’s nose. Of course, I’m not exactly concerned. I mean, can you really expect a scrawny little guy in a rented outfit—a guy who carries nothing more threatening than a walkie-talkie and a flashlight—to prevent crime?”

To honor Lester’s contribution to the Wichita Crossings Mall, every store in the mall is holding a special “We Love You Lester” sale. A huge reception, featuring a giant cake and surprise guests, will be held on Friday afternoon. All are invited.

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