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Home intruders foiled after Ohio teen hides in bed, texts mom


Margo Roby and her daughter Lauren Durnbaugh, 13, together outside their Lithopolis home Wednesday April 30, 2008. Lauren had been home alone on Tuesday morning when two robbers broke into her house. She hid in the covers of her bed and sent a text message to her mother on her cell phone. Her mother called the police and rushed home, catching the robbers in the act and wrestling with one of them until police arrived a few minutes later.

James D. DeCamp / AP Enlarge

LITHOPOLIS, Ohio - As two intruders began ransacking her house, a teenager home alone climbed into bed, hid under the covers and text messaged her mother, who called 911.

The thieves, who were both arrested, even sat on the girl's bed at one point, unaware she was home.

Lauren Durnbaugh, 13, was home sick from school Tuesday when she heard someone open a rear door her mother forgot to lock. She hid as the suspects went from room to room.

"OMG. They're in the house. I think we're being robbed," Lauren said in a text message to her mother, Margo Roby, 53, who was working at a car dealership about 15 minutes away.

Roby called 911 and raced home from work, ramming her vehicle into the back of the suspects' car parked in the driveway, authorities 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 police chief arrived, said Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen.

Jewelry, a laptop computer, a digital camera and a tool box were among items the intruders had set outside apparently to be carried away from the house, about 15 miles southeast of Columbus, Phalen said.

Burns and another suspect, Jeremiah Lee Fyffe, 26, were charged with burglary. Burns also was charged with robbery. Both remained in a county jail Thursday on $100,000 bond.

Lauren said she got into bed because the believed thieves were more likely to look elsewhere for items to steal.

"You wouldn't just look in someone's bed for something," she said Thursday on NBC's "Today" show. "You would be going in their closet and looking anywhere else."

The intruders apparently were unaware that the teen was home, 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.

"After we cried, she said, 'Wow, I can't believe I did that,'" Roby said.

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