DA dismisses Batmobile case

Mark Racop in one of his Batmobiles at a convention. Photo from Barcroft Cars.

Daily Post Staff Writer

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said today he is dismissing all charges against an Indiana auto shop owner accused of withholding a $210,000 Batmobile replica from an Atherton realtor in a dispute over payment.

On July 19, the DA’s office charged Logansport, Ind., Batmobile-maker Mark Racop with a felony by false pretenses and felony diversion of construction funds.

The charges followed a raid of Racop’s auto shop by San Mateo County Sheriff’s officers. During the raid, officers handcuffed and searched Racop.

The search and charges drew international news attention. Then Wagstaffe paused the criminal case in early August in order to get further information.

“After consideration of all the facts and circumstances presented to this office, it is my conclusion the evidence does not warrant criminal prosecution. Instead, I have concluded the actions of Mr. Racop are best dealt with in civil court proceedings,” Wagstaffe said in a statement today.

The case began when Atherton realtor Sam Anagnostou filed a civil suit against Racop. Anagnostou said he ordered a Batmobile from Racop and made several payments. But Anagnostou didn’t make the final payment, so Racop moved the realtor to the back of the line for delivery of Batmobiles.

Anagnostou’s lawsuit was thrown out of court.

Then Anagnostou then went to Sheriff Carlos Bolanos, who assigned the case to the Vehicle Theft Task Force, which carried out the raid of Racop’s auto shop and submitted the case to the DA, which filed criminal charges.

The Batmobile case hit the news in early August. Wagstaffe threw the brakes on the prosecution while his office investigated the situation. And the Board of Supervisors hired a retired judge to do its own investigation.

The supervisors also asked after state Attorney General Rob Bonta to investigate Bolanos’ handling of the case. But Bonta’s office said in a Sept. 14 letter that the supervisors failed to allege any crimes that occurred in the handling of the case.


  1. Which very sleepy judge dropped the ball on this case? Charging failed civil verdicts criminally usually reserved for banana republics. Usually it’s the reverse, with Fred Goldman alleging last June O.J. Simpson still owes him $96 million smackeroonis. How much will you and I be paying for this realtor’s fantasy camp justice when it’s all over?

    • Poor judgement, or money, seems to be the common denominator in the case of the local sheriff exceeding his jurisdictional powers for one persuasive and wealthy campaign donor.
      Let the public record show that the voters themselves, who cast a ballot for this character actor, showed poor judgement after having already known about his bizarre personal proclivities when he and the previous San Mateo County sheriff were both “detained’ in a police sting at a Las Vegas brothel in April 2007, aka, Operation Dollhouse. Both were “detained” but seven other people were arrested on drug related charges.
      It’s clear that a majority of citizens willfully ignored and overlooked this small but illustrative personal detail and yet gladly voted for this character actor and installed him to public office anyway. And now they’ve got exactly who & what they paid for, and maybe a little bit more.

      • Operation Dollhouse happened 15 years ago. The public has heard about it over and over. Yet the conspiracy theorists keep bringing it up. I’ll bet Dr Ayers faked his death and is secretly working for the DA. And be very afraid, black helicopters are following anyone who exposes the TRUTH about Bolanos and Wagstaffe.

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