Police Raid Batmobile Builder’s Garage Because of Impatient Customer
Owning the Batmobile is a childhood dream only a small amount of people have achieved in their lifetimes. The car is iconic, and when there is only one builder in the country licensed by DC Comics to build and sell real-life batmobile replicas, you can expect to pay a pretty penny for one. $210,000 actually.
Mark Racop, owner of Fiberglass Freaks is the only custom car builder in the U.S. authorized to build the official Batmobile. So when California real estate agent Sam Anagnostou put down $170,000 towards his car, that moved his deal to the top of the list. But according to Racop, Anagnostou missed a scheduled $20,000 payment that was agreed upon to go towards the remainder of his Batmobile and could not be reached for several months. As a result of this break in communication, Racop moved Anagnostu’s car to the bottom of the queue, adding 18-24 months to the standard 9-month-long build.
This is where things start to get interesting. After Anagnostou heard about the extended wait time for his Batmobile, he “exploded” says Racop, and then paid off his car’s remaining balance.
But this wasn’t the end of it. Anagnostou then filed a report with the Atherton police department, which was denied by the San Mateo County district attorney. Anagnostou proceeded to file a lawsuit in San Mateo County claiming Racop and Fiberglass Freaks over breach of contract and fraud. The judge of this case had it dismissed, saying it belonged in Indiana courts since that is where Racop and Fiberglass Freaks are located.
This is the next escalating step. Anagnostou proceeded to reach out to his friend and San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolano, allegedly asking him to raid the Fiberglass Freaks workshop by securing warrants for Racop’s emails and freezing his bank account. Bolano then allegedly flew out a lieutenant, sergeant, and two deputies to Indiana for four days (which included airline tickets, hotel, meals, and overtime) to execute the raid all on taxpayer dollars.
The raid resulted in deputies seizing two files of documents and bringing Racop to the local police station only to let him go an hour later. San Mateo county later slapped Racop with criminal charges of obtaining money by false pretenses and diversion of construction funds. Racop believes this is nothing more than a business dispute.
Bolano has not responded to questions regarding his relationship with Anagnostou, or why he took to such measures to raid the Batmobile builder’s business.
Former Federal Prosecutor Tony Brass is astounded that a dispute over a luxury item has found itself in criminal court. “It simply defies reason, in my view, why so many people, so many high-ranking members of law enforcement would have to go and enforce something so unnecessary, and so trivial.”