Family-of-Three Accused in $7M Shoplift Spree

Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 10:21 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

A father, mother and daughter from a posh Chicago suburb stole $7 million in merchandise during a decadelong shoplifting spree — traveling to stores nationwide and targeting dolls, toys, cosmetics and other valuable — according to a federal complaint released Wednesday.

The three were arrested earlier this week at their $1.3 million Northbrook home after returning from a three-day trip through Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana, where authorities say they shoplifted from stores. Working in tandem, the family traveled from their Chicago-area residence to hit businesses in multiple states, including Maryland, Tennessee and Florida, according to the 20-page complaint.

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 initial appearances Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, but did not enter pleas; they'll be held at least until a detention hearing next week. Someone who answered a phone at their Northbrook residence declined any comment

Lela Bogdanov frequently donned a long black skirt with large compartments sewn on the inside during the alleged shoplifting binges and was caught on surveillance cameras leaving some stores with her skirt looking notably fuller than when she entered, the complaint says.

Standing in orange jail clothes Wednesday in federal court, Lela Bogdanov wiped away tears as Magistrate Judge Michael Mason explained her rights. She followed the proceedings through a Romani interpreter.

An unnamed cooperating witness bought many of the stolen items — which included everything from American Girl dolls and Furby robotic toys to coffee and steak knives — at the Bogdanov home, then sold them online through eBay, the complaint says. On their own, Bogdanovs directly sold more than $690,000 in merchandise through eBay, the complaint says.

The United States Secret Service led the investigation after Barnes and Noble and Toys R Us contacted the agency about what the complaint describes as "a huge loss in merchandise." With the help of those companies and eBay, authorities traced stolen items to an the online trading account of the cooperating witnesses, who, in turn, agreed to help in the investigation of the Bogdanovs.

Speaking to reporters later Wednesday, the head of the Secret Service office in Chicago, Frank Benedetto, said large-scale shoplifting ultimately hurts both stores and their consumers.

"If this type of crime continues unchecked, the costs ... will be passed from the retailer to the common shopper," he said.

A conviction on the one count of interstate transportation of stolen property carries sentence of up to 10 years.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Report: Medicare, Social Security Inching Toward Insolvency

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 12:49 PM

A new report prepared for Medicare and Social Security says both programs are headed for bankruptcy, but not immediately . . .

NYT Supports Pot Legalization; Still Tests New Workers for Drugs

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 12:38 PM

The New York Times is planning to continue testing incoming employees for drug use, even though the newspaper came out w . . .

New York State Asks: Is Housing Healthcare?

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 11:15 AM

New York state considers whether housing counts as healthcare, NPR reported. . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved