Police arrest man wanted in Maple Ridge abduction, assault

Tips after picture was released assist Vancouver police and Ridge RCMP.

Police have arrested a man suspected of abducting a 17-year-old girl from a Maple Ridge mall on Saturday and assaulting her.

The 25-year-old man from Surrey was arrested in Vancouver by members of the Vancouver Police Department’s Emergency Response Team and Ridge Meadows RCMP’s Street Enforcement Unit around 10 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22.

“Shortly after we released the suspect’s picture yesterday, we started to receive tips,” said Insp. David Fleugel. “That allowed us to quickly identify and then locate the suspect.”

“I’d like to acknowledge and thank the public, for the valuable information they provided police. We all benefit when citizens are so engaged in working with police toward the safety of their communities.”

The man, who has a criminal record, was recognized by corrections officers and other police officers after two photographs of him were released.

Several other woman also came forward to police with information about the man after a 17-year-old girl was abducted from a Maple Ridge mall on Saturday.

“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,” Fleugel said.

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 pulled out a gun and forced her to drive her car, a 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, and escaped to a nearby house where police were called.

• 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.