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]

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2 of 8 comments
  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
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  • Car65688392 Thankyou for your valuable information
  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.