Illinois family charged with shoplifting, selling goods online for millions
An Illinois couple and their daughter on Wednesday were charged with operating a multimillion-dollar shoplifting ring that involved stealing toys, baby supplies and household items from retail stores and selling them on eBay, prosecutors said.The haul for the trio of thieves over 10 years was $7.1 million. Even over a decade, and spread across three people, that's a *LOT* of stolen property, folks. These people were stealing American Girl dolls (~ $100 each) and Lego sets ($50-$200) among other things - that is an AWFULLY large amount of money from what are essentially low-budget items. Especially when they were selling them for about half their value (they took in ~ $4 million).
Branko Bogdanov, 58, along with his wife Lela, 52, and daughter Julia, 34, of Northbrook, some 25 miles (40 km) north of Chicago, were charged in U.S. District Court with interstate transportation of stolen property, the U.S. Attorney's office said in a statement.
You have to wonder. Imagine if they'd put that same work ethic into a business. I'll bet they could have made a similar amount of money, all legal, had they started some sort of business that did something - anything, even if it's housecleaning or landscaping. They must have been shoplifting stuff 7 days a week, all day long, for 10 years to amass that kind of money - had they just gotten jobs they probably would be in the same place. Only without the criminal record.
I've long held that for non-violent crimes there should be some sort of "retribution" option, where you could avoid jail time if you can make restitution plus some sort of fine or damages. There'd be a certain irony to this family having to work the rest of their natural born lives to pay back the various businesses they stole from, not to mention all the people they sold pilfered goods to.
Barring that, I'd like to see the stocks and scourging brought back...
That is all.