It is hard to imagine how one family could go on a $7 million shoplifting spree without being caught first, but somehow the Bogdanov family was able to do it. The family was finally arrested earlier this week at their Northbrook home, a suburb of Chicago.
The shoplifting by the Bodanov family lasted for over a decade, and they were finally caught after multiple stores including Barnes & Noble and Toys R Us made contact with the secret service with a complaint that described a "huge loss of merchandise."
Branko Bogdanov, 58, Lela Bogdanov, 52, and their 34-year-old daughter, Julia Bogdanov, are charged with one count each of interstate transportation of stolen property. They made their initial appearances in court on Wednesday in Chicago, but did not enter pleas. They will remain in detention at least until their hearing next week, which will determine who much time they will each serve.
Lela Bogdanov was able to conceal many of the items that she stole in her clothes, and she would often wear and long skirt with an inner lining that could hide several items.
After leaving from their home in Chicago, the three hit business around the country that included Maryland, Tennessee, and Florida. Their big loot is said to have contained a variety of items including toys, dolls, cosmetics, and other valuables.
During the $7 million shoplifting spree, the family would collect all sorts of items that they did not plan to use themselves, and took them to eBay to sell the merchandise for cash. On their own, the Bogdanov family sold more than $690,000 in merchandise through eBay.
In addition to their sales on eBay, they had help from another unnamed cooperating witness, who bought items from them at their home. Years later, authorities traced stolen items to the online trading account of the cooperating witnesses, who, in turn, agreed to help in the investigation of the Bogdanovs.
A conviction of interstate transportation of stolen property, the crime that the Bogdanov family has been charged with, can carry a sentence of up to 10 years. How did they keep it going for such a long time before getting caught?
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