Several woman have come forward to police with information about a man who kidnapped a 17-year-old girl from a Maple Ridge mall on Saturday and assaulted her.
The girl was standing outside her place of work when she was approached by a man on foot around 8 p.m.
According to police, the man told the teen he needed help to start his car.
The girl went to help the man but he produced a weapon and forced her to drive her car out of the mall.
Ridge Meadows RCMP allege the man then began a significant physical assault on the girl who managed to fight off her attacker and flee from the car to a nearby house where police were called. The man drove off in the teen’s red 1993 Honda Civic. Police said the teen was not sexually assaulted but badly beaten.
“After initial media coverage, we had several women contact us, describing similar circumstances, of a man who approached women near the Westgate Mall, saying he needed assistance,” says Insp. Dave Fleugel. “This information helped provide police with enough information to advance the investigation to the point where we can release a photo of this suspect.”
RCMP also have a piece of his jewelry – a cross.
“The victim managed to rip these items off her attacker during the struggle, and police have since located and seized these items,” Fleugel added.
“The quicker we can identify this man the better. Police investigators are working this file around the clock.”
The abduction has rattled women who work at the mall on Lougheed Highway near 203rd Street and has some store owners wondering where mall security was Saturday night.
Amarjit Rana, who owns Quiznos, always has two staff working on evening shifts.
“It’s our policy,” he said, “especially when the girls are working. We don’t want any of our employees to work alone.”
Sandra Taylor will be contacting mall manager Bentall Kennedy to ask about additional security, particularly at night.
“It’s the scare of my life. It could have been anyone of us,” said Taylor.
“What a horrible thing to have done to an innocent girl. In this mall, we all work together. We are very close and we all watch out for one another.”
Police found the woman’s Honda, but are looking for anyone who saw the red 1993 Honda Civic in the area of Blackstock and 203rd streets, bordered by 126th Avenue and Walnut Crescent, between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday.
The teen was injured in the attack and was taken to hospital for medical treatment. Police describe her injuries as “non-life threatening,” but that she is extremely shaken by the abduction.
Investigators have also canvassed stores in the mall for security camera footage and are hoping the abductor was recorded.
The suspect is described as a man with a dark complexion, in his 20s, 5’9’’ to 5’11’’. He weighed between 180 to 200 pounds, had a medium build and a few days of facial stubble. He was wearing a white t-shirt, black puffy jacket with a fur-trimmed hood, dark blue jeans, white and black shoes. He may be associated with a small blue car.
• Anyone with information is asked to call RCMP at 604-463-6251. To remain anonymous, call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave a tip online at www.bccrimestoppers.com. CrimeStoppers will pay a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction.