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