May 1, 2008
LITHOPOLIS, Ohio (AP) — A teenager home alone who hid in bed from two intruders and alerted her mother by text message said Thursday she pulled bed sheets over her head because she believed they were thieves who were more likely to look elsewhere for items to steal. ``You wouldn't just look in someone's bed for something,'' Lauren Durnbaugh, 13, said on NBC's ``Today'' program. ``You would be going in their closet and looking anywhere else.'' While Durnbaugh hid on Tuesday, her mother rushed home while phoning 911, a call that led to the arrest of two suspects, authorities said. Durnbaugh didn't go to school Tuesday and was home when she heard someone open an unlocked rear door. She climbed into bed and hid under the covers as the suspects began ransacking rooms in the house about 15 miles southeast of Columbus, authorities said. ``OMG. They're in the house. I think we're being robbed,'' Durnbaugh said in a text message to her mother, Margo Roby, 53, who was working at a car dealership about 15 minutes away. ``I was absolutely horrified,'' Roby said on ``Today.'' ``That's the worst thing that could happen to a parent, is to get a message like that.'' Roby said she used one cell phone to call authorities and another to stay in contact with her daughter while speeding home. Back in the house, the intruders roamed from room to room, and at one point sat on Lauren's bed, police said. The intruders apparently were unaware that the teen was in the home, Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen said. ``They were talking about what they were going to take, just saying what they were going to do,'' Durnbaugh said. Roby arrived home and rammed her vehicle into the back of the suspects' car parked in the driveway, Phalen said. One of the suspects, Jenna Marie Burns, came out of the house and Roby wrestled with her just as sheriff's deputies and the Lithopolis police chief arrived, Phalen said. Jewelry, a laptop computer, a digital camera and a tool box were among items the intruders had set outside apparently to be carried away, Phalen said. Roby said she blamed herself for failing to lock the door when she left for work. But she's proud of how her daughter handled herself. Burns, 20, of Orient, and Jeremiah Lee Fyffe, 26, of Lockbourne, were charged with burglary. Burns also was charged with robbery. Both remained in a county jail Thursday on $100,000 bond. Burns' mother, Virginia Burns, said her daughter is only guilty of ``bad association.'' ``I think that my daughter has made the wrong choice in people, and now she's going to pay the price for that association,'' she said. ``I believe in my daughter. She is a goodhearted individual. But she has made a bad decision and she'll pay the price for it.'' A phone listing for Fyffe could not be found. If convicted, Burns faces a maximum sentence of 16 years in prison; Fyffe faces a maximum of eight years.