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California sheriff sends team to Logansport to raid Batmobile shop, allegedly at request of friend

Posted at 2:52 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 15:59:43-04

LOGANSPORT— An Indiana business owner who builds Batmobiles believes a group of deputies from California made the trip to the Hoosier state to raid his shop last month as a favor for the sheriff's friend.

"The raid was not an investigation, it was not an interrogation. It was with an agenda," said Mark Racop who owns Fiberglass Freaks.

Fiberglass Freaks is the only place in the country you can get a Batmobile built that is licensed and approved by DC comics.

They specialize in 1966 Batmobile models.

Racop says he was 2 years old when he fell in love with Batman. His passion has since grown tenfold.

Now a pastor, he still has love for the dark knight. "I fell in love with the music, the action, the color, everything about it. But especially the Batmobile," said Racop.

Racop tells WRTV he built his first ever Batmobile when he was 17 years old. Since then, he and his team have built over two dozen, and they currently have nine more in the works.

Investigators traveled from California to Indiana all to raid the fabrication shop on July 19th.

WRTV is working with ABC's San Francisco team trying to find out what is behind the raid.

The raid was conducted by the San Mateo Sheriff's Department in California.

"I was treated like a criminal," said Racop. "They sent my workers home, they wouldn't let a delivery come in with parts, it was crazy."

Several people believe the trip is a case of a California sheriff doing a favor for a friend, according to ABC7, and that it all stems from the purchase of the $210,000 Batmobile ordered by a man named Sam Anagnostou from California.

Racop says the man missed a $20,000 payment on his vehicle and then disappeared.

"He disappeared on me for 9 months on me, he didn't make his payment," said Racop.

After Anagnostou missed the payment, Racop moved his car to the back of the line to be finished. Which meant Anagnostou wouldn't get his Batmobile for a year and a half or two.

Racop says that infuriated Anagnostou, who filed a complaint with police in California, but the San Mateo District Attorney didn't bring criminal charges.

Anagnostou also filed civil suit alleging breach of contract and fraud, but a judge dismissed that case.

ABC7 in San Francisco discovered Anagnastaou asked his friend, the Sheriff of San Mateo County, to intervene. It wasn't long after that the sheriff sent a lieutenant, a sergeant, and two deputies over 2,200 miles across the country to Racop's garage.

But it isn't just about the trip, the allegations being made have Racop frustrated.

"To have this as an attack on my moral character is unbelievable," Racop said. "Everyone else on the planet has said that this is ridiculous."

ABC7 obtained receipts showing the trip cost the San Mateo Sheriff's department more than $10,000.

Racop's bank account has been frozen, and he has been charged with two felony's in California including obtaining money by false pretenses and diversion of construction funds.

Obtaining money by false pretenses can come with a jail sentence of up to 10 years.

"It's sad and angering both at the same time, it's multiple emotions simultaneously," said Racop.

Racop has to travel to California to appear in court. "I am out there to say two words, not guilty," said Racop.

Until then, Anagnastou's Batmobile, which has since been fully paid for, will sit.

That's because no work can be done during litigation.

Racop says, just like batman, he is prepared to fight. "They under estimated me, they underestimated the power of the Batmobile, and they underestimated their own department."

Racop will be in court in about two weeks.