December 20, 2013

Father and Son Arrested During Carjacking and Attempt Homicide Investigation


John Thomas, Jr., 39 years old – Santa Cruz Resident

Brandon Thomas, 21 years old – Santa Cruz Resident

A father and son are in custody in Santa Cruz County Jail for crimes of violence and possession of a firearm charges after an investigation into a Carjacking and Attempted Murder. 

On Wednesday December 18, 2013, Santa Cruz Police arrested John Thomas, Jr. (39 years old) in connection with an Attempted Carjacking and Attempted Homicide in the 100 block of Bixby Street. 

At approximately 6:50 PM officers responded to a report of an attempted carjacking in the 100 block of Bixby Street.  Officers contacted the victims, a 46 year old man and 3 members of his family (wife and 2 children) from Live Oak.  The victim family was delivering holiday tamales to their son’s teacher and parked in the 100 block of Bixby Street.  While the family was parked, suspect John Thomas approached the car and demanded entry. 

Thomas was armed with a revolver handgun and pointed it at the occupants of the car. At one point he pounded on the window with the butt of the handgun attempting to gain entry.   The woman was able to grab her 3 month old baby and flee from the car, while the male victim was confronted by Mr. Thomas. 

During the confrontation, suspect Thomas actually pointed the handgun at the victim’s chest and pulled the trigger several times.  Detectives later recovered the discarded firearm and learned Mr. Thomas actually had the wrong ammunition loaded.  Mr. Thomas had .380 caliber ammunition intended for a semi-automatic handgun, loaded into a .38 caliber revolver.  Because of this, thankfully, the firing pin did not strike bullet primer to fire the gun. 

A description of suspect John Thomas, Jr. was broadcast and he was located by other responding officers in the 300 block of Ocean St. He was safely taken into custody and positively identified as the suspect.   Detectives canvassed the area and found Mr. Thomas’ discarded handgun also in the 300 block of Ocean Street. 

While investigating this case, officers learned of a second case, where Mr. Thomas pointed his handgun at the occupants of a passing car and attempted to get the driver to stop. 

John Thomas, Jr. is currently on parole for violent crimes in Santa Cruz.  His arrest record dates back to 1992 for various crimes of violence, including crimes of violence while in prison.  John Thomas, Jr. is a validated prison gang member.  His history since release from prison includes several arrests for violating his terms of parole. 

John Thomas, Jr. was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail on charges including, (1) Carjacking, (2) Attempted Homicide, (3) Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and (4) Violation of Parole.  

On Thursday December 19th, Detectives served a search warrant at Mr. Thomas’ residence in the 300 block of Soquel Ave.  In the course of serving that search warrant, Mr. Thomas’ son, 21 year old Brandon Thomas approached the home and confronted officers.  Brandon Thomas was detained and searched where he was found to be in possession of a loaded 9mm handgun.   Brandon Thomas is identified as a Norteno gang member affiliating with Westside Nortenos in Santa Cruz. 

Brandon Thomas was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail for being in possession of a loaded firearm as well as enhancements for participation in a criminal street gang.  Detectives obtained a bail increase to $100,000.