The sordid tale of a California real estate agent and his Batmobile replica continues to get weirder and more complicated.
We’ve covered the background of the story where Sam Anagnostou missed a $20,000 payment on his Batmobile replica and was unreachable for the better part of a year, forcing Mark Racop, owner of Fiberglass Freaks (aka the only officially licensed builder of 1966 Batmobile replicas) to bump him to the end of a nine vehicle build queue. We also covered the request by Anagnostou to San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolano to intervene and Bolano’s (likely inappropriate) decision to send four sheriff’s deputies to raid Racop’s business in Indiana.
Now, things are starting to come apart at the seams for Anagnostou and Bolano, as the San Mateo County Supervisor asks the California Attorney General to investigate Bolano’s use of departmental resources in the Anagnostou case, according to a report by ABC7 News Bay Area published on Tuesday.
Also interesting is that Bolano, who has previously been unreachable because he’s been on a month-long vacation, published a departmental memo outlining his relationship with Anagnostou and his plans for the raid. In this memo, Bolano confirmed:
- He knew Anagnostou before this issue with the Batmobile
- That Anagnostou contacted Bolano personally, urging him to launch an investigation, despite being previously rebuffed in San Mateo civil court and having a request to press criminal charges denied by the assistant district attorney.
- He ordered the four-person team to raid Fiberglass Freaks in Indiana after getting search and arrest warrants approved by judges here and in Indiana.
- Bolano initially planned to have this four-person team arrest Mark Racop and transport him back to California while the other two deputies loaded Anagnostou’s unfinished car onto a truck and accompanied it back to San Mateo County. Luckily, neither of these things ended up happening.
The thing we’ve been most curious about – just how the warrants to raid Racop’s business got off the ground in the first place – has also come to light, and unsurprisingly, not everything here seems to be on the level either. First, the documents portray this as a theft case rather than a business dispute. Next – and this is the most egregious – the lead investigator of the case, Lieutenant Michael Leishman, opted to leave off the bulk of his job title, allegedly to portray the case in a different light to aid in the freezing of Racop’s bank accounts. Leishman’s full title includes being the head of the Auto Theft Task Force and Gang Intelligence Unit, but he chose only to use “Commander of the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force.”
As of the time of publication, Mark Racop is no longer required to appear in court in San Mateo County on August 19 for an arraignment, and District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe is investigating the possibility of getting the criminal case thrown out altogether.