An Oregon teen gave police a perfect description of two suspects she came face-to-face with during an attempted home burglary on Wednesday, which helped put two people behind bars.
ABC News reports that Jensen Clark, 18, was alone in her family’s Salem home when two people began incessantly ringing the door bell and banging on the front door. Frightened, the teen texted her mother, Gena Young, who immediately texted back and told her not to answer the door. Young called 911 as Clark ran into her bedroom. While peeking through blinds, she saw a man and woman walking away from the house and toward the family’s shed.
???? Jensen Clark, 18, of Marion County, was home alone on Wednesday when she was surprised by a knock on… https://t.co/At8HcGKG3d
— Taylor William's (@ocsap) May 27, 2016
The man and woman took a few items from the shed, put them in their car, and returned to the house. Clark texted her mom, letting her know the suspects’ step-by-step movements as she cautiously watched from her room.
“I heard them messing with the crappy little garage door. I don’t know if they got in. Why is this taking so long?”
They somehow got into the house, and while hiding under a blanket in a closet in her bedroom, Clark texted her mother again to let her know what was going on. Worried that the suspects would find her in her room, Clark texted her mother and asked what to do. Young told her daughter to remain hidden and silent. The suspects did indeed find the teen, after they rummaged through her father’s room.
“Theyre in dads room. I love you so much mommy……They found me.”
Young, who was still on the phone with 911, began shouting at the dispatcher, in fear of her daughter’s safety.
“Oh my god! They’re in her room! They’re in her room!”
The suspects made their way to the closet and lifted the blanket, but instead of backing down, Clark jumped up, apparently startling the burglars. She screamed at them to get out of her house. According to Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the pair ran out of the house, got into their vehicle, and sped away.
Dramatic text convo between mom & her daughter who's hiding from burglars pic.twitter.com/GvKY0LLcJP
— Mike Benner (@MikeBennerKGW) May 25, 2016
While authorities questioned Clark about the incident, she was able to give them enough information to make two arrests. Tiffany Wicke, 38, and Jestahn Jackson, 37, were arrested and charged with burglary in the first degree. They were taken to the Marion County Jail, but both were released on Saturday morning after the jail became too full. Marion County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Chris Baldridge said that the police were “forced to release them in lieu of releasing more dangerous offenders.”
Meanwhile, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office is commending Clark for her bravery, which ultimately helped police capture the suspects and charge them.
“The Sheriff’s Office would like to commend the victim in this case for taking action to protect herself and assist the Sheriff’s Office in capturing the two suspects. Calls for service like this are some of the scariest situations a resident can face and in this case the victim did everything right to protect herself and aide in the capture of Ms. Wicke and Mr. Jackson.”
Clark, however, admitted that she felt anything but brave during the attempted burglary. She later told reporters the following.
“I was not calm, my heart was beating so fast, I could hear it, feel it in my feet. My hands were shaking. It was horrible.”
Despite her fears, Clark recalled the words she said when she came face to face with the two suspects.
“I stood up and said ‘you need to get out immediately! If you leave my house right now, I’m not going to do anything but you need to get out this second.'”
The suspects haven’t yet entered a plea, but Jackson is expected back in court for arraignment on June 7, followed by Wicke’s arraignment on June 8.
[Photo by Marion County Sheriff’s Office]