Northbrook family charged in multi-million dollar shoplifting spree

A Northbrook family went on a cross-country shoplifting spree that may have netted them millions of dollars worth of children’s toys over the last decade, prosecutors say.

Lela Bogdanov, 52, allegedly had a specially constructed skirt for concealing the toys, which were stolen from Toys R’ Us and Barnes & Noble.

American Girl dolls, Furby robotic toys, Lego blocks, baby monitors and baby carriers were among the items she teamed up with her husband, Branko Bogdanov, 58, and their daughter Julia, 34, to steal and sell on eBay, federal authorities say.

They were arrested by Secret Service agents Tuesday at their home on Weller Lane in Northbrook.

A federal complaint alleges the family sold toys that had a retail value of $7.1 million for a total of $4.2 million through eBay over the last decade.

They allegedly began a recent cross-country stealing spree on Feb. 17 in Oklahoma, continued two days later at malls in Texas, and wound through Louisiana on Feb. 20, before they returned to Northbrook the next day.

All three Bogdanovs were charged with interstate transportation of stolen property and are due to appear before a Chicago judge Wednesday morning.

Barnes and Noble, Toys R’ Us, and eBay all helped the feds make the case, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Surveillance video from multiple stores shows toys bulging from the long black skirt Lela Bogdanov allegedly used to conceal stolen items, the feds say.

The skirt had a blue lining capable of containing multiple rectangular objects, according to the complaint.

If convicted, The Bogdanovs face up to 10 years behind bars.

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