$7 million shoplifting spree: Illinois family arrested

Family allegedly stole merchandise from retailers and sold items to man who later sold them on eBay.
By Danielle Haynes  |  March 6, 2014 at 7:36 AM
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NORTHBROOK, Ill., March 6 (UPI) -- A Chicago-area family of three was arrested Tuesday, accused of going on a shoplifting spree across several states worth millions of dollars.

Branko Bogdanov, 58, his wife Lela Bogdanov, 52, and their daughter Julia Bogdanov, 34, were charged Wednesday with interstate transportation of stolen property.

Secret Service agents arrested the Northbrook, Ill., family after following them on a shoplifting spree in February through Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana.

Law enforcement were tipped off about the Bogdanovs after retailers Barnes and Noble and Toys R Us reported an unusually high loss in merchandise, including American Girl dolls, Furby dolls, Lego blocks, baby monitors and baby carriers.

Investigators noticed an eBay account allegedly connected to the Bogdanovs sold a large quantity of the stolen items. The man who owned the account told police he bought the items from a man named Franko Kalath, which allegedly turned out to be an alias for Branko Bogdanov.

The merchandise -- worth an estimated $7 million retail -- was sold for a total of $3.4 million.

Should the family be convicted on interstate transportation of stolen property charges, they each face a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution payments.

[Chicago Tribune] [NBC Chicago]

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