The saga of the Batmobile shop that an overzealous sheriff raided has finally ended. An independent report has found that the San Mateo County Sheriff’s office may have overstepped its bounds when investigating a civil matter regarding a single unfinished Batmobile replica from Fiberglass Freaks.
This all stemmed because his Batmobile replica was put on hold due to some payments being missed. This put Anagnostou’s car at the back of the production line. Although he eventually made more payments, this did not bump him back to the front, which, I’m guessing, was too inconvenient for the wealthy realtor.
Investigative reporter, Dan Noyes of San Francisco’s ABC affiliate, has been covering the story since it broke last year. When an independent investigation into the actions of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s office was finally made available, Noyes noticed the county’s attorney was not being entirely honest with the public.
During the Board of Supervisors meeting, when the county’s supervisor, David Canepa, was asked what went wrong with the whole ordeal, he said, “I guess I’m not trying to be cagey. But it’s not eminently clear to me that anything went wrong per see.” Except a lot did go wrong.
Noyes poured through the nearly 50-page report and found the following:
- “The sheriff took Anagnostou’s call because he is acquainted with him; Anagnostou is a local businessperson and a friend of the sheriff’s brother.”
- The sheriff referred the case to the head of his Vehicle Theft Task Force, even though “this case did not fall within (its) mission.”
- The head of the task force spent 6 months investigating, and then took a crew of four department personnel to raid the Batmobile garage in Indiana.
The report appears to point to the entire ordeal that targeted Fiberglass Freaks in Logansport, Indiana. The company’s owner Mark Racop was done as a favor for Sam Anagnostou by former Sheriff Carlos Bolanos.
Remember, Mr. Anagnostou had already tried to take Mr. Racop to court in a civil case in California, which was thrown out because it would have fallen under the jurisdiction of an Indiana court. Thus, Anagnostou decided to take another route. Unfortunately, one included bypassing the proper venue and putting Racop through one hell of an ordeal.
It is unknown if former Sheriff Carlos Bolanos will face any repercussions based on the investigation’s findings. But, in the end, we know that San Mateo County wasted $10,000 to send a team of officers to Indiana for a needless raid, and another $55K was spent on the report.
I spoke to Mark Racop last August before the criminal case against him was dropped. Unfortunately, he now has PTSD and claims that this misuse of public funds and resources has cost his business over $350K. When I talked to him over the phone, it was apparent that he had been run into the ground. He, however, said he would persevere, and he has.
The Batmobiles take quite a few years to complete because of the customized parts and the supply line issues plaguing the automotive and construction industry since 2020. In addition, Racop told me that fiberglass was one of the most challenging things to get ahold of since the U.S. Government took priority regarding that material.
[Source: ABC7 News Bay Area]
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