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Guilty plea in violent mall kidnapping

Ian Campbell captured by a surveillance camera on the day of the kidnapping. Campbell pleaded guilty to the crime Aug. 9 and will be sentenced in September. - RCMP photo
Ian Campbell captured by a surveillance camera on the day of the kidnapping. Campbell pleaded guilty to the crime Aug. 9 and will be sentenced in September.
— image credit: RCMP photo

A man who kidnapped a young waitress from a Maple Ridge mall at gun point in January pleaded guilty to the crime Friday.

Ian James William Campbell entered pleas to four of seven criminal charges including using an imitation firearm, assault causing bodily harm, unlawful confinement and theft. The other charges will most likely be stayed.

Campbell will be sentenced in September in Port Coquitlam Provincial Court.

The 25-year-old has been in custody since he was arrested in Vancouver Jan. 22 by members of the Vancouver Police Department’s Emergency Response Team and Ridge Meadows RCMP’s Street Enforcement Unit. His arrest came after a public appeal by police for tips in the violent abduction of a 17-year-old girl from Westgate Centre on Lougheed Highway.

The girl was standing outside the Fox’s Reach Pub after work when she was approached by Campbell around 8 p.m., Jan. 19.

According to police, Campbell told the teen he needed help to start his car. The girl went to help him, but Campbell pulled a gun and forced her to drive her red 1993 Honda Civic, out of the mall to a secluded area, where police say he physically, but not sexually assaulted her.

Badly beaten, she still managed to fight him off, ripping a gold cross from him during the struggle. She escaped to a nearby house.

After police appealed for information, several other women contacted investigators, saying they were approached by a similar man near Westgate Centre.

Officers obtained surveillance footage from a nearby business and released a photo of the alleged abductor.

Police sources say Campbell shaved his head after the public appeal, but his photograph was recognized by corrections officers and other police officers.

Campbell has an extensive criminal history dating back to 2005, including convictions for assault, flight from a peace officer and theft.

According to court records, Campbell was sentenced in 2008 to four and a half years in prison for stealing a car and leading police on a high-speed pursuit that ended with the death of passenger.

At that time, Campbell was part of a group of Surrey teens who called themselves “Cop Killin Villains.”

In a stolen SUV, Campbell rammed a police cruiser twice, prompting one of the officers to shoot and kill one of three passengers –16-year-old Kyle Tait.

Appeal court documents reveal Campbell came from a dysfunctional family and spent his early years in foster care.

Police are also investigating whether the 25-year-old is linked to other robberies across the Lower Mainland but he is yet to face additional charges.

Campbell is known to use the alias James Austin, as well as James Scott Calegerro, James William Smithe and Alexander Robert Dunphy.

Maple Ridge Chrysler donated a PT Cruiser to Alexandra, the teen who was abducted, since her Honda was torched following the abduction.

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