Family Arrested After Seven Million Dollar Shoplifting Spree

Illustration for article titled Family Arrested After Seven Million Dollar Shoplifting Spree

A Chicago family's decade-long shoplifting spree ended on Wednesday when Branko, Lela and Julia Bogdanov were arrested for thieving more than seven million dollars in merchandise and selling the goods (toys, electronics, steak knives) from their home and on eBay.

The Bogdanovs' spree was no casual operation or impulse theft. The family traveled to different states to nab valuables such as Furbies to resell. The investigation, led by The United States Secret Service was launched after complaints from Barnes and Noble and Toys R Us, which both reported huge losses in merchandise. This raises the question of how much the Bogdanovs were able to steal at one time and how often they were hitting the stores.

It's reported that Lela Bogdanov would wear a long black skirt when she went shopping and would leave with the skirt notably fuller (and louder, no doubt, with all that Furby chatter), but no other details have been provided as to how so many thefts were accomplished. (Or how she kept the Furbies quiet; I'm sorry I can't get over the Furby thing, but I was in a target last week and accidentally set off several Furbies at one time which was traumatizing.)


Each member of the family faces one charge of interstate transportation of stolen property, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. The Bogdanovs have not yet entered a plea.

Image via Getty.

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2 Ninjas Taped Together

but no other details have been provided as to how so many thefts were accomplished.

A lot of people come in with reusable bags\bags lined with tinfoil, fill 'em up, and dash out... all in a couple of minutes. The foil generally fools the security gates (though honestly if you put two of the security tags on top of one another, that's almost entirely foolproof too... yay technology!).

There's also baby strollers (with or without baby), bulky jackets, and just plain running for the door. Chances are good that one of the family members was the distraction while the other two fleeced the stores (or vice versa).

People who are involved in such large rings like this always get caught because of the electronic trail. Corporations have Loss Prevention people specifically in place to troll eBay for commonly stolen items (as identified by year end inventory numbers) and find sellers who are selling a lot of them (at B&N, LEGO sets are especially prone to theft and are also commonly resold on eBay and Craigslist) and track them.

It can take a long time (like this), but they always get caught. So if you're going to steal from a coporation... don't stop at the security gates and only steal what you're going to use for yourself... once you start selling, the net's already closing in.

Also, "Furby up the skirt" is probably the worst possibly euphemism for pubic hair ever. So of course I'm going to be using it