CHICAGO (CBS) — A Northbrook couple and their adult daughter have been arrested for allegedly pulling in $4.2 million on eBay by selling off toys and other merchandise they’d stolen during a 10-year shoplifting odyssey.
WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports Branko Bogdanov, 58; his wife Lela Bogdanov, 52; and their daughter Julia Bogdanov, 34, have been charged with interstate transportation of stolen property.
Federal prosecutors said the trio began their most recent stealing spree on Feb. 17 in Oklahoma, and continued at malls in Texas and Louisiana, before returning home to Northbrook on Feb. 21.
Lela Bogdanov allegedly wore a long black skirt with a lining designed to hold several large objects, which she used to conceal stolen goods she lifted from Toys “R” Us, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers. Surveillance video from some of the stores shows the skirt bulging with stolen toys and other items, according to prosecutors.
An informant acted as a fence for the Bogdanovs and sold their stolen goods – including Legos, Furbys, American Girl Dolls, baby monitors, and baby carriers – on eBay.
Prosecutors said an investigation aided by ebay and the stores the Bogdanovs hit determined the trio had been running their scheme for the past decade, and sold their hot merchandise for a total of $4.2 million. Prosecutors said the merchandise they stole had a retail value of $7.1 million.
They allegedly have hit stores in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Florida, and Tennessee.
All three appeared in court Wednesday morning at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.
A court-appointed attorney for Branco Bogdanov says his client appears unfazed by the serious charges.
“He seemed to me to pretty upbeat and thinking this wasn’t going to be a big deal,” said defense attorney Michael Falconer.