Three members of a suburban Chicago family are accused of stealing $7 million in merchandise during a decade-long “shopping odyssey” and later selling the items on eBay.
Branko Bogdanov, 58; his wife Lela Bogdanov, 52; and their daughter Julia Bogdanov, 34, were arrested by Secret Service agents Tuesday afternoon at a home on Weller Lane in suburban Northbrook, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court.
The trio is accused in a recent string of thefts that began on Feb. 17 in Oklahoma, continued two days later at malls in Texas and wound through Louisiana Feb. 20. But officials allege the three are connected to similar instances that have occurred over the last 10 years, and have sold stolen property on eBay for a combined total of $4.2 million.
According to the complaint, loss prevention executives at Barnes and Noble, Inc. and Toys R Us, Inc. recently told Secret Service agents that their stores were experiencing a huge loss in merchandise, including American Girl dolls, Furby robotic toys, Lego blocks, baby monitors and baby carriers.
The retail executives worked with eBay and found that a particular account sold large quantities of the stolen items, matching the quantities reported missing from the stores. Officials traced the account to a person living in a Chicago suburb.
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