PACIFIC PALISADES—The suspect responsible for committing more than a dozen criminal offenses was charged in court on August 14. Brian Thomas Cruz, 44, a homeless person, is facing 19 counts in the case including kidnapping and carjacking for his crime spree in Pacific Palisades.
According to a press release from the Los Angeles District Attorneyâ€™s Office, on August 11, Cruz broke into a womenâ€™s home and held her at knifepoint to drive him in her car. The victim crashed the vehicle in an attempt to escape her assailant. He later carjacked a second woman, a teacher near Palisades High School and crashed the stolen vehicle against other cars, prosecutors noted.
After the suspect left the second womanâ€™s vehicle, he entered another home and allegedly forced a third woman to give him her car keys. He crashed the victimâ€™s vehicle against other cars before running a red light and colliding with a car near Webb Way in Malibu.
Canyon News contacted Sarah Ardalani, Public Information Officer for the Los Angeles District Attorneyâ€™s Office about the case. When asked about a possible motive or injuries sustained during the crime spree, Ardalani was not able to comment on the facts of the case.
Cruz is facing 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, reckless driving causing specified injury, a bone fracture; and one count each of kidnapping and false imprisonment by violence.
According to reports, two people sustained injuries during a crash in Malibu and were taken to local hospitals to be treated for their injuries.
The suspect is also facing two misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run driving with allegations that a knife was used. The suspect had prior convictions allegations in 1989 and 1995 for residential burglary, robbery and rape. The case is still under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Bail for Cruz has been set at $2.85 million. If convicted of all charges he could face life in prison.