It was supposed to be a night of fun for Nicholas Castillo and his wife, who were out trick-or-treating with their little boy for the first time last October.
“It was a great time,” Castillo said.
But a night of Halloween fun took a scary turn when Castillo received an alert on his phone saying his home alarm system had been disarmed.
The young father rushed to his Homestead home.
“And as soon as I pulled up I noticed something was wrong because I noticed the lights upstairs were on,” he said.
Once inside, he said he quickly realized they had been burglarized.
“My dog was in the corner because apparently they had beaten her up and threw her into the corner,” he said. “There was glass all throughout – through the floor from when they broke the glass and just everything thrown everywhere.”
Castillo called the police and filed a report. He also contacted Universal Property and Casualty Insurance Company to file a claim for the stolen items.
“They took pretty much everything that wasn’t bolted onto a wall or furniture,” he said. “My Xbox, my PlayStation, tablets, all of our laptops, my wife’s wedding ring, all of our jewelry, all our watches, purses, duffle bags, everything, everything.”
He said he put together a detailed list of everything that was missing, whatever receipts he could find and the police report and sent it all to the insurance company.
“I had been calling to find out where the process was,” he said. “They said they had approved an amount and they would let me know.”
But he said when weeks turned into months of waiting for answers, he called NBC 6 Responds.
“I was like, you know what, let me try it,” he said. “What’s the worst that can happen?”
An attorney for the insurance company told NBC 6 they were notified of the claim on November 1st and that it took the adjuster several attempts to reach Castillo. When he did, he sent Castillo a “written list of the documents or information that would be needed in order to process the claim."
The company said it took Castillo several months to “obtain and provide the requested information” and that once they had it, they “determined the amounts owed under the policy, and ultimately issued the payment.”
Castillo said soon after NBC 6 Responds’ involvement, he finally got the $8,769 he had been waiting for.
“I was ecstatic,” he said. “I couldn’t believe that you guys were able to do it so fast.”
Castillo said he’s been slowly replacing the items that were stolen and recently purchased another wedding ring for his wife.
It’s always a good idea to keep copies of receipts for high-value items just in case you need to file a claim if they’re stolen.