Man Sentenced for Carjacking, Kidnapping in Pacific Palisades Crime Spree

By Staff Writer

A 50-year-old man was sentenced Monday to 141 years to life in state prison after being convicted for a one-day crime spree in Pacific Palisades, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Brian Thomas Cruz, a transient, was found guilty during a court trial of four felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, an automobile; three counts of carjacking; two counts each of first-degree burglary, person present, second-degree robbery, criminal threats and reckless driving causing specified injury, a bone fracture; and one count each of kidnapping and false imprisonment by violence.

On Aug. 11, 2014, Cruz went into a woman’s home and forced her at knifepoint to drive him in her car, which she deliberately crashed so she could run away, the prosecutor said.

The defendant went on to carjack a second woman, a teacher near Palisades High School, ramming the stolen car into several other vehicles, the prosecutor added.

Cruz then abandoned the teacher’s vehicle and entered a home where he forced a third woman to surrender her car keys. The defendant crashed that victim’s car into other vehicles before running a red light and colliding into a car near Webb Way in Malibu, according to evidence presented at the 2019 trial.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department, West Los Angeles Division.

in Crime, News
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