Details from the Bellingham Herald (but it's better to listen to the girl tell the story):
A teenage babysitter and two young men were arrested Wednesday, June 18, when the babysitter made up a story about two armed, black men breaking into an apartment east of Ferndale to throw deputies off the track of the real thieves, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office.More the link.
The 17-year-old girl had been watching three kids from 1 to 4 years old at the apartment in the 5400 block of Northwest Drive. She reported two black men in their 20s or 30s - one with a gun, one with a knife - had barged in through a back door around 4:20 p.m. and told her she should leave if she didn't want to get hurt. None of the children were hurt as they fled from the apartment with her.
A SWAT team, a U.S. border helicopter and dozens of law enforcement personnel - many of them on call, working overtime - responded to the scene looking for two armed men with backpacks...
Cody Oakes, 25, an operations manager for J.P. Morgan, had been ready to walk out the door with a duffel bag in his hand to go to football practice. (He plays quarterback and wide receiver for the Bellingham Bulldogs, a semi-pro team.) He'd noticed heavily armed police in camouflage marching down the road.
One of his roommates got in touch with a detective and found out what was going on. Through her, deputies ordered Oakes to come outside. He did, once the detective agreed to come in and escort him out. A sniper stood about 25 yards away with his sight fixed on Oakes. Deputies handcuffed him, pulled his shirt over his head, and sat him in the back of a patrol car...
Eventually, the teen admitted she'd made up the story about an armed home invasion to cover for how she'd let her 16-year-old boyfriend and a young man, Ruben Jerome Benjamin, 18, into the apartment to steal electronics, said Sheriff Bill Elfo.
The burglars briefly got away with a gaming system, laptops and a piggy bank, stuffing a total of $1,500 in stolen goods in their backpacks.