A 4-year-old girl helped solve a crime after her babysitter staged a burglary at her home, police said.
The babysitter reported that two black men armed with a gun and knife barged into the Ferndale, Wash., house where she was watching three children on Wednesday, the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office said.
The teen told police the men forced her to take the children and leave.
The teen led police to a neighbor who fit her description of the suspects and he was taken into custody, Elfo said.
But her alleged ruse unraveled when one of the children told police the burglars were white, not black.
"She described the suspects as having peach-colored skin as opposed to having dark-colored skin," Sheriff Bill Elfo told ABC News.
The babysitter eventually admitted to police she was involved in the thefts. She concocted the story after letting two men, including her 16-year-old boyfriend, into the house to steal about $1,500 worth of the family's belongings, including laptops, game system components and a piggy bank, according to a police report.
The babysitter and her boyfriend's name haven't been released because they are under 18 years old. The third accomplice, Ruben J. Benjamin, is 18. All three were arrested and face theft and robbery charges.
"It caused us to use a large scale of our resources. We had our SWAT team on the scene," Elfo said.
The neighbor who had been taken into custody was released once police determined the woman's story was false, Elfo said.