PACIFIC PALISADES—Brian Thomas Cruz, 50, a transient was sentenced to 141 years to life in state prison on Tuesday, July 7 for committing a crime spree in 2014 in Pacific Palisades. Cruz was found guilty on:
- Four felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon and an automobile
- Three counts of carjacking
- Two counts each of first-degree burglary with a live person present
- Second-degree robbery
- Criminal threats
- Reckless driving that caused a victim to have a bone fracture injury
- One count each of kidnapping
- False imprisonment by violence.
On August 11, 2014, the defendant burglarized a woman’s home and forced her at knifepoint to drive him in her vehicle parked at the home. The victim deliberately crashed the vehicle to escape from Cruz.
The defendant proceeded to carjack a second victim. A female teacher near Palisades High School had her vehicle stolen and totaled by Cruz after he rammed her car into several other vehicles on the side of the road. The defendant abandoned the teacher’s vehicle and entered a home where he forced a third woman to surrender her car keys.
Cruz crashed that victim’s car into other vehicles before running a red light and colliding into a car near Webb Way in Malibu. The defendant crashed while driving northbound on Pacific Coast Highway and was taken into custody.
The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department’s West LA Division.