News Releases

July 7, 2020: Man Sentenced for Carjacking, Kidnapping in Pacific Palisades Crime Spree

Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A 50-year-old man was sentenced yesterday to 141 years to life in state prison after being convicted for a 2014 crime spree in Pacific Palisades, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

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.

Case SA088296 was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Eugene Hanrahan.

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.