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Mom, dad, daughter accused in $7M shoplift spree

Family Used Special Skirt During Nationwide Shoplifting Spree

CHICAGO (AP) - 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 valuables - 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 U.S. 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 Inc. and Toys R Us Inc. 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 P. 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.

___

Follow Michael Tarm at www.twitter.com/mtarm.

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rlpl02 March 06 2014 at 8:20 AM

Gypsies, tramps, and thieves...

Flag Reply +1 rate up
hi billy March 06 2014 at 7:47 AM

the toys r us are dick lickers

Flag Reply +1 rate up
breezejd38 March 06 2014 at 7:47 AM

What in hell was the United States Secret Service doing in this case?

Flag Reply +3 rate up
5 replies
dl0007 March 06 2014 at 7:46 AM

America should do what their Eastern European Country would do if they caught an immigrant stealing that amount from their country : Send their A$$ back where they came from!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
elshelohim dl0007 March 06 2014 at 7:55 AM

AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN !
Why should we even entertain feeding
clothing them in jail off of the TAX paying
hardworking ppl in the country .

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Cindy March 06 2014 at 7:43 AM

Can you say "DEPORTATION"???? These folks need to go back to where they came from with nothing but the clothes on their backs (which were probably also stolen). Why should the US taxpayer pay for a trial and jail accommodations? Just ship 'em out now!

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3 replies
bullwinkle94a March 06 2014 at 7:42 AM

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

She understood the charges. They are Gypsies,and pretending to not understand what is going on is a part of their scam.

Who knows how many times they have been picked up for petty shoplifting charges,and then let go when the local cops couldn't figure out what language they spoke so they could get an interpreter for them in time before charges had to be filed or they had to be released?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Glen March 06 2014 at 7:42 AM

7 million worth? That's a lot of "shopping sprees" . You would have thought they could have put 2 and 2 together and came up with at least something! Other companies might elect not to hire their loss prevention general manager.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Gracie GirL March 06 2014 at 7:40 AM

I did a 6 year long case of gypsys in a state I will not name that were scamming senior citizens out of thousands of dollars. I traced every 6 of their homes back to a corporation they formed and eventually turned it over to the police for a client that was ripped off for over a hundred thousand dollars. All of these gypsys use a first name as a last name and when one was finger printed he came up as being with out any priors and he was foreign, spoke broken english and even the detectives couldn't prove these criminals were not citizens. So people gypsys are not a fairy tale. They live and breath. They live between Florida, California, Oregon, Michigan and move back and forth. The woman have long hair and wear long skirts. They are also suspected of possibly insuring elderly for life insurance. They have a variety of money making schemes. After 6 years I had to move on from the case but I never forgot it, This family sounds like relatives ~ except that last name.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
tcgor60 March 06 2014 at 7:38 AM

I know this is the wrong thing to say but it sure would be a whole lot easier to take them outback and shoot them.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
3 replies
jcecoman13 March 06 2014 at 7:36 AM

Now here is how you work from home...................

Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
Cindy jcecoman13 March 06 2014 at 7:40 AM

LOL! Good one! Seemed to work well for them, for a while!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
LINDA jcecoman13 March 06 2014 at 8:04 AM

LOL, so true, however the do have to go out and stock up on products. That would be considered WORK, LOL

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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