$7 Million Shoplifting Spree: Illinois Family Accused

An Illinois family was arrested for being part of a shoplifting spree which totals to $7 million. According to Epoch Times, a father, mother, and daughter stole merchandise for over a decade. They traveled to stores nationwide and targeted dolls, toys, cosmetics and other valuables.

Within a 20-page federal complaint, the three were arrested earlier this week at their Northbrook home. They just returned from a three-day trip through Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana. Authorities say they shoplifted from stores during that time. They also traveled far to hit businesses in other states, including Maryland, Tennessee and Florida.

Branko Bogdanov, 58, Lela Bogdanov, 52, and their 34-year-old daughter, Julia Bogdanov, are charged with a single account of interstate transportation of stolen property each. On Wednesday, they made their initial appearance in a U.S. District Court in Chicago. They did not enter pleas and will be held, at least until a detention hearing next week. Someone who answered a phone at their Northbrook residence declined to comment.

In another report by The Chicago Tribune, the suburban Chicago family stole with startling efficiency from toy stores, booksellers and coffee shops. The family matriarch often dressed in a bulky black dress outfitted with compartments for stuffing large merchandise. The three family members were able to make off with millions of dollars of merchandise from well-known retailers, such as Barnes & Noble and Toys “R” Us, selling the thousands of items on the online auction site eBay.

The Bogdanov Family, with a cooperating individual who acted as its fence, sold merchandise with a retail value of $7.1 million for a total of $4.2 million through their eBay accounts. Many of the items were sold in bulk and in their original packaging.

This case is also considered to be noteworthy, not only for the extensive financial losses, but also for the old-school manner in which the family operated. Also, despite its simplicity, it is considered a major operation, more intricate and grander than the teenagers stealing from Victoria’s Secret, which was earlier reported by The Inquisitr.

Frank Benedetto, the head of the U.S. Secret Service in Chicago, had this to say about the family and their shoplifting spree.

I think they had a system over a significant period of time where I guess they thought they were minimizing their risk, but eventually law enforcement caught up with them.

The Bogdanov Family was scheduled a detention hearing by the U.S. Magistrate, Judge Michael Mason, for this coming Monday. It seems there may be more that needs to be learned about the family. Originally they are from the former Yugoslavia, and it is unclear if any of them are U.S. citizens.

[Image courtesy of womenspk.com]