The sheriff of San Mateo County, Carlos Bolanos, has come under fire for allegedly sending a four-man team to Indiana to raid the garage that produces Batmobiles as a favor for a friend who can’t wait for his order, as reported by ABC News.
“Your public money paid for the trip last week by the sheriff’s investigators – four round-trip plane tickets, three nights of hotels, meals, rental cars, and a lot of overtime, all because of a friend of the sheriff who can’t wait for his batmobile,” the news outlet reported.
Sam Anagnostou, a real estate agent from Atherton, California ordered a $210,000 Batmobile from the only builder licensed by DC Comics, Fiberglass Freaks of Logansport, Indiana.
The owner of the Batmobile production company, Mark Racop, claimed that Anagnostou was first on the list, but after he failed to pay a $20,000 payment Mr. Racop moved him to the bottom of the list and said that he needed to ‘wait a year and a half or two for his Batmobile.’
“He disappeared on me for over eight months, almost nine months,” Racop told ABC News after Anagnostou failed to pay the $20,000 payment. “He didn’t like [being moved to the bottom of the list], he exploded. 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.”
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Anagnostou filed a complaint with Atherton police, but last September, the San Mateo County District Attorney declined to bring criminal charges at this time, according to a letter to the Batmobile builder.
Anagnostou also filed a lawsuit in San Mateo Superior County Court, alleging Breach of Contract and Fraud, but this past March, a judge dismissed the case saying Indiana is the proper venue.
Then, sources inside the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department tell the I-Team’s Dan Noyes that the realtor asked his Facebook friend, Sheriff Carlos Bolanos, to intervene. He sent a lieutenant, sergeant and two deputies to Indiana; they raided Fiberglass Freaks last week — July 19.
Mark Racop tells us, “Then, they showed the warrant saying that they were here to seize anything to do with his car. 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.”
But investigators took only two files of documents, according to the Search Warrant Return. Racop says they read his Miranda Rights, brought him to the local jail for an hour, but let him go. He only later found out they got a warrant for his Gmail, contacts and photos; that they froze his bank account; and charged him in California with two felonies — Obtaining Money by False Pretenses, and Diversion of Construction Funds.
“I was horrified. I’ve never gone through anything like this ever before in my life, I am on the side of good. As a Batman fan since I was 2 years old, this was a completely opposite side. I love ’66 Batman and Batman always stood with the law.”
We wanted to talk to Sheriff Bolanos about Anagnostou and about the use of public funds – four round-trip airline tickets, hotels for three nights, meals, overtime. He didn’t return our repeated calls and texts to his personal cellphone. His office confirmed he’s away on a month of vacation; he leaves office in January after losing the election. The undersheriff now in charge, Mark Robbins, and the department’s spokesman, Lt. Eamonn Allen, refused our request for an interview citing the ongoing investigation.
Watch the video below: