SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors is taking action after Friday’s I-Team report. ABC7 News has revealed that San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos sent four investigators to Indiana last month to raid the only garage that manufactures replica Batmobiles under license from DC Comics.
Sources inside the sheriff’s office told I-Team’s Dan Noyes that Bolanos sent these men out of state on behalf of a friend who ordered a Batmobile. And now the I-Team has gotten some of the proceeds from this publicly funded trip.
Last week, we introduced you to Atherton realtor Sam Anagnostou, who ordered a $210,000 Batmobile from this Indiana builder. Mark Racop told ABC7 News that Anagnostou missed a payment, couldn’t reach him for more than eight months, and dropped the real estate agent from #1 to #9 customer in line. for a new Batmobile.
“He didn’t like it, he blew up. He paid for the whole car then, but he was absolutely pissed that his car was going to be delayed,” Racop said.
When complaints to Atherton police and a lawsuit didn’t pan out, multiple sources inside the sheriff’s office told the I-Team, Anagnostou turned to an old friend to intervene, Sheriff Bolanos. On July 19, he sent a lieutenant, a sergeant, and two deputies on a 2,200-mile trip to Racop’s garage, accompanied by a local Cass County detective.
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“I was treated like I was a criminal from the start. There was no discussion. It was not an interrogation. It was not an interview. They were there to intimidate me from the first minute,” Racop said.
Racop says California investigators told his employees to leave, fired the delivery people, took him to the local jail for an hour, but let him go. It wasn’t until later that Racop found out, they froze his bank account and charged him in San Mateo County with two crimes: obtaining money by false pretenses and embezzling construction funds. .
On Tuesday, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors was notified of the Batmobile raid by its constituents.
“We have heard nothing about the allegations that sheriffs were sent to another state to abuse their power and intimidate a businessman when the matter could have been settled in civil court,” said Pam Schwartz, a resident of San Mateo County.
“I am concerned about the integrity of the prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor is supposed to pursue truth and justice regardless of a person’s wealth and status,” said San Mateo County resident Janet Davis. .
“It’s just unacceptable, it’s embarrassing, it’s humiliating when I get calls from friends across the country telling me what’s going on in San Mateo County,” said Bill Newell, a resident of San Mateo County.
Supervisors directed the county executive to get answers from the sheriff’s office and the district attorney. Board chairman Don Horsley told the meeting, “Our constituents want answers, so I think it’s appropriate for the county executive to look into this and report back to us.”
The I-Team obtained answers using the California Public Records Act which included receipts from these four investigators during their trip to Indiana. The sheriff’s office spent more than $5,000 on plane tickets, $1,272 for three nights’ hotel and $427 for a rental SUV. They say only three of the investigators worked overtime that Sunday – over $3,000. A total of $10,142.76 so far. The county still has not provided meal receipts for the four days.
ABC7 News has filed a new request to speak to Sheriff Bolanos; Still no answer. But the realtor who ordered the Batmobile, Sam Anagnostou, agreed to sit down for an interview. The I-Team should have it later this week.
If you’re on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live
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