California Cops Apparently Used to Settle Batmobile Business Dispute
This is a weird one. And a bit confusing. Stay with us as we try to explain.
ABC7 in the San Francisco area has quite the story.
It involves a Batmobile replica, law enforcement, and cross-country travel. Oh, and taxpayer dollars.
Here's what happened: California real-estate agent Sam Anagnostou ordered a replica of the Batmobile -- the version used in the original TV series -- from Fiberglass Freaks in Logansport, Indiana. Fiberglass Freaks is the only shop licensed by DC Comics to make these replicas -- which, by the way, appear to be street-legal and come with a working flamethrower. Anagnostou's ride would cost $210,000.
Shop owner Mark Racop says that Anagnostou's car would have been the first in a production line of nine, but Racop says Anagnostou missed a $20,00 payment and "disappeared" for eight or nine months.
Racop moved Anagnostou's order to the bottom of the list, pushing delivery back a year and a half, maybe two years. Racop says Anagnostou exploded at this.
Anagnostou filed a complaint with the Atherton police in San Mateo County, California, but the district attorney declined to bring charges. He also filed a lawsuit alleging breach of contract and fraud in San Mateo county, but a judge dismissed it, saying Indiana was the proper venue.
It's alleged that at that point, Anagnostou reached out to a Facebook friend of his, Carlos Bolanos, who is the San Mateo county sheriff. Bolanos in turn sent a lieutenant, sergeant, and two deputies to Indiana, where on July 19 they raided Fiberglass Freaks and took two sets of documents.
Racop was read his Miranda rights and taken to the local jail, he was released after an hour but police had a warrant for his email account and contacts and they froze his bank account. He was charged in California with two felonies: Obtaining money by false pretenses and diversion of construction funds.
The San Mateo DA, who once wrote a letter to Racop saying he wouldn't be charged, now claims there is additional evidence against Racop, but she wouldn't tell local news what it is.
Anagnostou avoided commenting when reached by ABC7 and Bolanis is apparently on a month-long vacation.
We're no legal experts, but this appears to be the kind of business dispute that would be settled, probably as a civil matter, in the area where the business is located. Not the kind of case that would require cops to fly halfway across the country and spend money on airfare, hotels, and meals.
Maybe the lawyers among you can sound off below.
[Video courtesy of ABC7 Bay Area]
Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.
Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.
More by Tim Healey
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Grg I am not sure that this would hold up in snow country. It used to be that people in snow country would not be caught dead in a white car. Now that white cars have become popular in the north, I can't tell you how many times I have seen white cars driving in the snow without lights. Almost all cars are less visible in a snow storm, or for that matter, rain storm, without lights. White ones become nearly invisible.
- Douglas I have a 2018 BMW 740e PHEV, and love it. It has a modest electric only range compared to newer PHEV's (about 18 miles), but that gets me to the office and back each day. It has a small gas tank to make room for the battery, so only holds about 11 gallons. I easily go 600 or more miles per tank. I love it, and being able to take long road trips without having to plug in (it just operates like a regular Hybrid if you never plug it in). It charges in 75 minutes in my garage from a Level 2 charger I bought on Amazon for $350. Had an electrician add a dryer outlet beside the breaker box. It's the best of both worlds and I would definitely want a PHEV for my next car. 104,000 miles and ZERO problems with the powertrain components (so far).
- Panther Platform I had a 98 Lincoln Mark VIII so I have a soft spot for this. The Mark VIII styling was not appreciated by all.
- Grant P Farrell Oh no the dealership kept the car for hours on two occasions before giving me a loaner for two months while they supposedly replaced the ECU. I hate cords so I've only connected it wirelessly. Next I'm gonna try using the usb-c in the center console and leaving the phone plugged in in there, not as convenient but it might lower my blood pressure.
- Jeff Tiny electrical parts are ruining today's cars! What can they ...