Chicago family accused of plotting nationwide $7 million shoplifting spree

By Daniel S Levine,

A family that lives in a posh suburb near Chicago has been accused by authorities of shoplifting $7 million worth of products in various states over the past decade, according to a complaint released on Wednesday.

Three members of the Bogdanov family were arrested at their Northbrook, Ill. mansion this week - Branko Bogdanov, 58; his wife, Lela Bogdanov, 52; and their daughter, Julia Bogdanov, 34. According to The Associated Press, they have each been charged with interstate transportation of stolen property. If they’re convicted, they could spend up to 10 years in prison.

The family did attend a hearing, but hasn't entered a plea.

Officials said that the Bogdanovs mostly targeted toys, like Furbys and American Girl dolls, but also stole baby items and sold them on eBay for a profit. The operation continued until this week, as officials said they arrested them after their latest shoplifting trip through Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana. The complaint notes that they also stole items in Maryland, Tennessee and Florida.

According to WLS-TV, Lela Bogdanov would conceal items in a long skirt that the family put special pockets in so they could take the items from a store. Officials said that surveillance tapes showed the skit appearing “larger and fuller when she exited various retail stores than when she entered.”

The federal complaint said that the stores targeted were mostly Toys R Us and Barnes & Noble locations. Both companies and eBay helped the investigation. The investigation was run by the United States Secret Service.

They did not work alone. A cooperating witness bought many of the items and sold them on eBay. In addition, the complaint states that they sold $690,000 worth of items on eBay themselves.

image courtesy of Amazon



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