‘Better Call Behnken’ gets results after body shop cashed check without doing repairs


RUSKIN, Fla. (WFLA) – Melissa Morales never thought she’d be happy to drive off an auto body shop in her wrecked Toyota Camry.

But after her car was at Castillo’s Paint & Collision for a month and she couldn’t get it back, she was thrilled when Better Call Behnken helped reunite her with the car. 

“I’ve been going crazy, trying to get a hold of them and no one has been returning my calls,” she said. 

Her insurance company, Progressive, has already paid for some of the repairs, but Morales says no work was started and the shop discontinued their phone number and were always closed.

Better Call Behnken showed up looking for her car and ran into a man named Ricky who says the owner, Ed Kalinowski, asked him to stop by to return wrecked cars to people. He says the shop is going out of business. 

We found Morales’ car and then she showed up. Ricky agreed to turn it over.

This is the second woman to claim the shop cashed insurance checks without fixing the vehicle. Last week, our Better Call Behnken report resulted in Progressive Insurance agreeing to fix the car with another shop. 

Since then, we’ve received calls from other concerned customers. Ricky showed us six wrecked cars that need to go back to their owners. He says the business is closing, has no electricity and no workers. He says customers can pick up cars with him, and then they can get reimbursement through Ed. 

Ed did not return our message, left with Ricky.

Meanwhile, Morales says hopes her Progressive will help her find another place to have her car repaired. 

If you have unfinished business with this shop, please email BetterCallBehnken@wfla.com

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