Batmobile Garage Owner’s Charges Dropped in California Sheriff’s Office Case
The charges against Fiberglass Freaks owner, Mark Racop, have been dropped by the San Mateo District Attorney's Office, according to local news anchor Dan Noyes, who has followed the case from the beginning.
"Just came out of an interview with San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe who has confirmed that he is dropping all charges against the Batman builder, Mark Racop."
ORIGINAL STORY (AUGUST 2, 2022): In August, Racop told ABC 7 Sam Anagnostou ordered one of the $210,000 vehicles, but missed a $20,000 payment during the building process, before he "disappeared on me for over eight months, almost nine months."
So, like any business owner would, Racop moved Anagnostou's order to the back of the line, meaning it'd be a year and a half to two years to get the Batmobile.
Listen to Mark Racop Tell The Story to Dwyer & Michaels:
"He didn't like that, he exploded," Racop told the news station. "He did pay off the entire car at that point, but he was absolutely livid to find out that his car was going to be delayed."
Anagnostou filed a complaint with the Atherton police, but then in September of last year, the San Mateo County District Attorney.
Then, Anagnostou filed a lawsuit with the San Mateo Superior County Court, claiming Breach of Contract and Fraud. In March, the judge dismissed the case saying Indiana would be where he should file that case.
ABC's I-Team says sources claim Anagnostou asked his friend, Sheriff Carlos Bolanos, to intervene. So, he sent a lieutenant, sergeant and two deputies to Fiberglass Freaks in Logansport, Indiana - some 2,300 miles away.
The trip, according to ABC 7, consisted of four round-trip plane tickets, three nights of hotels, meals, rental cars, and overtime.
Sheriff Bolanos team carried out the raid on July 19th.
"Then, they showed the warrant saying that they were here to seize anything to do with his car," Racop said. "So I thought, 'Oh, they're coming in to pick up his car,' which is right behind me, by the way. I thought I was gonna have to move my other Batmobiles out of the way to be able to let them take this car."
The investigators only took two files of documents, according to the Search Warrant Return. Racop was read his Miranda Rights and taken to the local jail for an hour before being let go.
Then, he found out a warrant had been obtained for his email, contacts, photos, and his bank account had been frozen, and charged him with two felonies in California. He's been charged with Obtaining Money by False Pretenses, and Diversion of Construction Funds.
ABC 7 reached out to San Mateo County District Attorney Marie McLaughlin to find out why the search warrants were able to be obtained after the case had already been thrown out. She declined to comment any real information.
When asked if this was a personal favor from Sheriff Bolanos, she told the outlet "I can't speak to that, I have no knowledge about what relationship if any the sheriff has with the victim."
When the news station went to Sheriff Bolanos to talk about the case, they found that he's out of town on vacation for a month. His undersheriff, Mark Robbins, declined an interview because it's "an ongoing investigation."
Racop is also a minister. "I should expect trials and tribulations. It's just part of being a Christian and as a preacher, you know, this is an attempt to besmirch my reputation."
A GoFundMe has been created to help Mark Racop deal with incoming legal fees from this case.
Back in 2016, you might remember the Batmobile made an appearance at the Rod & Custom Car Show in Rock Island. We became friends with Mark shortly before the appearance when he brought the car to our car show.