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It’s one of the oldest tricks in The Big Book of Racism: When in doubt, blame a black guy.

But why a 46-year-old white woman in Maryland told police an elaborate tall tale about an attempted carjacking by two black men at the mall last week is anyone’s guess.

In the case of Susan Smith, she was trying to cover up her own murderous misdeeds. But in the case of Pamela Davis, there was no clear method to her madness, authorities say.

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The Baltimore Sun reports that Davis told police last Tuesday that she was in a parking garage across from the Towson Town Center mall when two black men —wearing black hoodies, black ski masks and jeans, she said—approached her and attempted to take her car. She initially said she saw no gun.

Despite that, the police dispatched air support, K-9 units and additional ground support in an attempt to locate the suspects. Towson University, located near the mall, tweeted out an alert to its students telling them to “remain alert if in the area.”

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The Baltimore Fishbowl reports that Davis first told police she was opening her car door when the blacks approached and demanded that she hand over the keys; she refused, she said, and they instead took her purse and ran.

But then her story changed. Again. And again. She later told police that the suspects pointed a gun at her. Then, she said, they demanded money.

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In addition to her ever changing account, surveillance video showed that Davis drove into the parking lot where the incident was supposed to have happened, stayed for a time and then drove away. She then called police.

Davis was charged with two counts of making a false statement to a police officer and is due to appear in court Jan. 16.

Thank goodness for video cameras.

Read more at the Baltimore Sun and the Baltimore Fishbowl.