Police: Babysitter who reported home invasion was in on theft

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Investigators believe a teenage babysitter lied when she called police to say she was the victim of a home invasion robbery.

The girl, who has not been identified because of her age, was babysitting two young kids Wednesday afternoon in Bellingham when she said two armed men forced their way into the home.

She told police the men ordered her to leave with the children. She brought them to a neighbor's house and called 911.

Speaking with police, the babysitter said the robbers were tall black men in their 20s or 30s. She said one had a knife and the other had a gun in his backpack, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office.

Numerous deputies and a special response team swarmed into the neighborhood to secure the home and find the robbers. Deputies originally believed the men had barricaded themselves inside the house, but they later searched it and found nobody inside.

A Customs and Border Protection helicopter was also deployed to help search for the robbers.

The babysitter stuck to her original story for a while, but later cracked under questioning and admitted to lying. She told detectives no one barged into the home and that she was involved in the plan to steal valuables from the house.

She said she made up a list of items she wanted and gave it to her two accomplices, who then burglarized the house. Detectives soon identified the two suspected accomplices, one of whom was the babysitter's boyfriend, 18-year-old Reuben Benjamin, according to deputies. The second was a 16-year-old boy, who deputies have not identified.

Both suspects admitted to stealing property from the house, and all the stolen items were located. Deputies say the trio made off with roughly $1,500 in computers, video games, cash and other items.

All three suspects were arrested and are facing charges of robbery, theft, conspiracy to commit robbery and filing a false report.