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Bay Area briefs
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4 arrested in death of staged burglary suspect  in Pittsburg

PITTSBURG, Calif. (AP) — Pittsburg police say four people have been arrested in connection with the stabbing death of a man who allegedly was their co-conspirator in a plot designed to scare a man into moving out of the apartment he shared with his estranged wife.

Lt. Ron Raman said the wife, 28-year-old Charmaine Taijeron, and her 22-year-old boyfriend, Matt Parker, were among the quartet who remained jailed Wednesday on suspicion of murder, even though it was Taijeron's husband who stabbed 49-year-old Robert Lindsey to death.

Raman says Lindsey and two other men broke into the apartment Tuesday morning intending to pose as burglars as part of the plot devised by Taijeron and Parker. Lindsey and the husband ended up in a struggle, leading to Lindsey's death.

The husband was not arrested because authorities believe he acted in self-defense.

Officials looking for missing Berkeley woman

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Authorities are asking for the public's help in finding a Berkeley woman and her boyfriend who were last seen a few days before Christmas as they recycled scrap metal in rural Northern California.

Camille Kober, 52 and her boyfriend, Eric James Eide, 54, of Manton, haven't been seen or heard from since Dec. 21, when a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. employee reported seeing the couple walking onto PG&E property in Manton, Shasta County sheriff's Sgt. Troy Clegg said Wednesday.

Eide had gone to a nearby recycling facility a day earlier to turn in scrap metal and told employees that he would be returning to the PG&E property the next day to pick up more scrap metal, Clegg said.

It was not clear if the couple were authorized to remove any metal from the property, which is in a remote and rugged area about 40 miles southeast of Redding.

Eide's truck was found by PG&E workers Dec. 22, but there were no signs of him or Kober. Sheriff's officials had the truck towed Dec. 23.

On Christmas Eve, Eide's mother, reported the couple missing.

Charges dropped against trio in building takeover

SANTA CRUZ  (AP) — A California judge has dismissed vandalism and trespassing charges against three people in the takeover of a vacant bank building by Occupy Santa Cruz.

Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick said Tuesday that the defendants made a spontaneous decision to enter the building in November 2011 and it wasn't a conspiracy.

The judge dismissed felony vandalism and misdemeanor trespassing charges against Robert Norse, Becky Johnson and Desiree Foster.

Eleven people initially were charged in connection with the occupation of the building, which lasted about three days before the group left peacefully.

Four other defendants still face felony vandalism and misdemeanor trespassing charges.

During Tuesday's hearing, the judge fined prosecutors $500 for delays in turning over evidence.