Mom, Dad & Daughter Busted for $7 Million Shoplifting Spree

Anyone who has ever wondered what it takes to become a millionaire probably never considered the Bogdanov family's wild money-making scheme. No, dad Branko, mom Lela, and their 34-year-old daughter Julia didn't open up a successful chain of restaurants or develop a new software application. For the last decade, the Illinois family has been raking in big bucks -- $4.2 million, to be precise -- by shoplifting toys, baby supplies, and household items from stores like Toys "R" Us, Barnes & Noble, and Dillards and then selling the items for cheaper on eBay. The family that steals together stays together?

According to police, the Bogdanov's stole $7.1 million worth of goods like American Dolls, LEGO blocks, electronics, and even bags of coffee from Starbucks. And they didn't do it using sophisticated means. Like teenagers with sticky hands, they stuffed items in their pockets and up their bulky dresses.

Authorities suspected them for awhile and were finally able to catch these crooks after following them on a four-day cross-country trip where they stole items from stores in Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas. Cops actually saw mom's dress blow up as she left a Toys "R" Us and were able to make out a blue lining that she used to carry stolen goods.

All three were arrested at their lavish $1.4 million home in suburban Chicago. The mom's notorious shoplifting black dress was seized and each family member has been charged with interstate transportation of stolen property.

Wowser. Can you imagine indoctrinating your own child into your web of crazy? Then again, their daughter was at least 24 at the time, so there is really no excuse for any of this. This family got away with their shoplifting endeavor for so long -- they were even able to build a pretty nice life from it. Even after they were reportedly arrested a few times for shoplifting, they continued to take this huge risk. My guess is that the Bogdanov family got used to pulling in a lot of money and got away with this for so long, they began to feel invincible.

Why do you think this family continued to take such a crazy risk for so many years?


Image via Fort Meade/Flickr

crime, in the news, law


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IHear... IHeartCake

Ugh, what horrible people they are.  Some people workl demeaning exhausting jobs just to live a bare-bones lifestyle.  I hope every single penny they have, every possession is seized and that they all spend a long long time in prison.  Then they should have to pay restitution for the rest of their lives.

marie... mariesmama

how does anybody shoplift an american girl doll theyre not exactly small

Railr... RailroadGirl

Its low lives like thar , that drive the prices up and make it harder for the working people to be able to afford anything. Look at razors. They are the most shoplifted item and look how expensive they are.

Jozemom Jozemom

It's amazing how people pull this off! I had a friend who ate a 40cent donut while we were in the grocery store and forgot to pay for it. Two guards approached him at our car, police were called and my friend had to spend the night in jail! Another time, ny brother and his friend found an open bag of candy on a store shelf and took a few out and ate them. The security guard hauled them off and my brother was banned from that store for a year.

So are security guards just too busy busting kids for eating donuts and candy to pay attention to the thieves who walk out with hundreds of dollars in goods?

nonmember avatar Jeffrey Schein

These people were roma gypsies. It is part of their lifestyle and culture.

Meeche Miller

I hope these scumbags stay in jail for a long tome and when rhey get out - mame them pay back $7 million dollars!   Time to crack down on these bums!

Mae Clark

Actually your comment about the daughter being 24 and she should have known better is so wrong. They have been doing this or many years which means she was just a child when her parents taught her to shoplift. What a crummy life for a kid.

Sherrill Dye

This is for the Jeffrey guy and his stupid comment about Gypsies. Robbery is not a part of Roma culture and lifestyle and your comment is a typical from a gorger.

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