Charges have been dropped in the missing Batmobile case, but the investigation has only just begun.
A garage full of Batmobiles in Logansport, Indiana was the site of a July raid. It wasn’t henchmen sent by the Joker or the Penguin who stormed the premises, it was deputy sheriffs in San Mateo County, California, who allegedly acted at the behest of a real estate broker and of a Bay Area political donor.
San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe said his office would dismiss a felony complaint filed against Mark Racop, owner of Indiana-based Batmobile producer Fiberglass Freaks, who was charged by the officer with Compass Sam Anagnostou for failing to deliver a $210,000 Batmobile he ordered. the shop to be built, the Menlo Park Almanac Reports.
Now some local officials want to know why four investigators traveled half the country at taxpayer expense to investigate what should have been a civil dispute.
The caped crusader car hugs date back to last year, when Anagnostou – a Menlo Park, Calif.-based agent with a “35-year record as the most productive real estate agent,” according to his website – sued Racop for breach of contract, Bay Area CBS affiliate KPIX reported.
Anagnostou claimed that delivery of his fully drivable 1966 Batmobile replica was delayed beyond agreed terms. Racop claimed he never received a final installment. Anagnostou disputed this and alleged that Racop made the final payment to another Batmobile customer, pushing the broker to the bottom of the line.
The civil lawsuit was dismissed in March after a California judge ruled it should have been filed in Indiana, but Anagnostou was determined to get justice.
He contacted San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos, whose re-election campaign he had supported with a $1,000 donation, the Almanac reports, and asked Bolanos to investigate Racop.
After an investigation involving the review of bank statements and emails and ultimately the raid in late July, a prosecutor in Westgaffe’s office determined that there was insufficient cause to issue a warrant. stop.
“No, he didn’t give the car to anyone else,” Westgaffe told the publication. “We don’t even know if there is a car. And it’s a civil dispute.
Don Horseley, chairman of the San Mateo Board of Supervisors and former county sheriff, told KGO-TV of San Francisco that the body is investigating the Batmobile raid and has asked the California State Attorney General to look into the matter as well.
Sheriff Bolanos defended the investigation in an internal memo, the Redwood City Pulse reported.
“If it is true that I have requested that this matter be investigated, and that I know the victim as I know many San Mateo County residents, I would make the same request to our investigators every time a potential crime of this nature comes to my attention,” Bolanos wrote.
Racop, whose shop is the only officially licensed manufacturer of Batmobile replicas, according to Jalopnik, claimed that investigators read him his Miranda and briefly took him to a local jail before releasing him. Later, he found out they got a warrant for his email account, froze his bank accounts, and charged him with two crimes.
“I was horrified. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life,” he told KGO. “I love ’66 Batman and Batman has always obeyed the law.”