Thu. Nov 30th, 2023

A transient convicted of going on a one-day crime spree in Pacific Palisades, in which he carjacked three women, was sentenced to 141 years to life in state prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Brian Thomas Cruz, now 50, broke into a woman’s home on Aug. 11, 2014, and forced her at knife point to drive him from her house, police and prosecutors said. The woman intentionally crashed her car near Palisades High School, but Cruz carjacked another woman, a teacher, and crashed that vehicle a short distance away, authorities said.

He then went into another home and forced another woman to surrender her car keys, according to Deputy District Attorney Eugene Hanrahan. Cruz drove north on Pacific Coast Highway and ultimately reached Malibu before hitting several vehicles and eventually crashing again and being taken into custody.

Cruz was convicted in a non-jury trial of four felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon – an automobile – three counts of carjacking, two counts each of first-degree burglary with a person present, second-degree robbery, criminal threats and reckless driving causing specified injury and one count each of kidnapping and false imprisonment by violence.


By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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