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Bay Area news briefs
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Newark crash victim ID'd as Pleasanton man

NEWARK, Calif. (AP) — The motorist who died in a crash with three men allegedly fleeing the scene of a burglary has been identified as a 69-year-old Pleasanton resident.

Police say Robert Cheney's Honda sedan was struck by the suspects' Chevrolet Malibu in Newark around 10 a.m. Wednesday. Cheney died at the scene.

His identity was released on Thursday.

The suspects — Rajwaun Watkins, Deshon Collier and Jabrie Watts, all 20 years old — were arrested after the crash on suspicion of residential burglary and vehicle evasion.

Watkins remained in critical condition at a hospital on Thursday. Collier and Watts were treated and released.

Newark police Cmdr. Bob Douglas said officers were chasing the men's car, but had ended the pursuit before the crash over concerns about public safety.

More victims found in child molestation case

MARTINEZ (AP) — A California school janitor is now facing 20 felony child molestation counts after discovery of more victims.

Contra Costa County prosecutor Ryan Wagner says 44-year-old John Astor pleaded not guilty to the charges on Thursday. Astor is in jail with bail set at $3 million.

The Contra Costa Times says the Walnut Creek janitor was arrested Dec. 22 for investigation of molesting two boys, one in Contra Costa County and another in San Francisco.

Investigators say Astor didn't know the victims through his janitor job with the Mount Diablo Unified School District.

Walnut Creek police investigators found three more male victims, under the age of 14, and an additional 10 counts were filed on Wednesday.

Investigators say few details are being released to protect the young victims.

SF unemployed rate falls by 1.9 percent over year

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco's unemployment rate has dropped to 7.6 percent, making it the third lowest in the state.

Mayor Ed Lee says data from preliminary state unemployment numbers released Friday indicate the city's unemployment rate has dropped by nearly 2 percentage points since last Saturday.

Lee says this represents an additional 17,300 employed San Franciscans in a broad range of industries, including professional, scientific and technical services, as well as the construction, food service and health-care industries.

Lee's office said this steady increase in job growth ranks San Francisco in the top 10 percent of the country by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Police find abducted San Jose girl, suspect killed

SAN JOSE  (AP) — Police have located an 11-year-old girl who was abducted from her San Jose home at gunpoint by her mother's ex-boyfriend, who was shot and killed by a SWAT officer.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that the girl, Taylor Vo, was not injured Friday afternoon even though her alleged abductor, Tri Truong Le, had her in his arms inside a San Jose townhome when he fired at officers and the SWAT team member fired back.

Police say the 42-year-old Le forced his way into the girl's home Friday morning, assaulted one of her relative's and fired several rounds from a handgun before abducting her.

Vo was being evaluated at a local hospital following her rescue.

The kidnapping prompted authorities to issue a statewide Amber Alert.

Investigators have not given a possible motive.