SAN FRANCISCO — Prosecutors in California have dropped criminal charges against an Indiana business owner who builds replica Batmobiles whose shop was raided by sheriff's deputies, according to ABC News affiliate KGO-TV in San Francisco.
Mark Racop, the owner of Fiberglass Freaks in Logansport, faced felony charges of "Obtaining Money by False Pretenses, and Diversion of Construction Funds", KGO-TV reports.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaff told KGO-TV directly that the case was being dismissed.
Wagstaffe previously told KGO-TV his staff approved the search and arrest warrants prepared by sheriff's investigators. He also said that in his 45 years in the DA's Office, he has never seen a raid like this by sheriff's investigators in another state, for a non-violent theft case, KGO-TV reports.
In August, Racop told WRTV that he believes a group of deputies from California made the trip to raid his shop as a favor for the sheriff's friend. The raid was conducted by the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office
"The raid was not an investigation, it was not an interrogation. It was with an agenda," Racop told WRTV.
Fiberglass Freaks is the only place in the country you can get a Batmobile built that is licensed and approved by DC comics. It specializes in 1966 Batmobile models.
Several people believe the trip is a case of a California sheriff doing a favor for a friend, according to KGO-TV, 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.
After Anagnostou paid $170,000 toward his replica, Mark Racop says he couldn't get in touch with him for more than eight months, KGO-TV reports.
Sheriff Carlos Bolanos admits he launched the investigation after Anagnostou, one of his donors, called to complain that his $210,000 Batmobile had been delayed. Bolanos sent a team of four investigators to raid the Batmobile garage in Logansport, Indiana.
In a news release, Cass County, Indiana Sheriff Edward Schroder stated that deputies served only as a "liaison agency" for California authorities.
"Cass County is not participating in California's criminal investigation, and is not investigating Mr. Racop or his business, Fiberglass Freaks, and has no information upon which to initiate a criminal investigation," the release states.
WRTV Reporter Kaitlyn Kendall contributed to this report.
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