Crime

One charged in connection to Food Lion, Loris murder and armed robbery spree

A North Carolina man faces murder and other charges in connection to a crime spree in Horry County last week.

Horry County Police charged James Laverne Bellamy, of Tabor City, North Carolina, with murder, three counts of kidnapping, two counts of armed robbery and two counts of possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

The charges are related to a murder and attempted robbery at a Longs Food Lion and robbery at the Carolina Inn on Aug. 15.

Police also say they also have probable cause to charge Bellamy in connection to a robbery of a broken-down motorist on Fox Bay Road the same night.

Bellamy was arrested in Fair Bluff, North Carolina and will be extradited to Horry County.

The spree began at about 10:30 p.m. at a Longs Food Lion. When officers arrived at the S.C. Highway 9 grocery, they found a deceased man, identified as “Jerry” Celentano, 57, inside a white Chevrolet Cavalier and secured the scene.

Police say the suspects also tried to force a store employee in the parking lot to unlock the Food Lion.

Officers were then called to the Carolina Inn off U.S. Highway 701 at about 11 p.m. for a reported robbery. An employee said two people entered, pointed a gun at him and demanded money. The suspects were described as two black men, wearing black shirts, blue pants and black shirts covering their faces except for their eyes, according to a police report. The suspects fled the hotel in the Nissan Altima.

A short time later, officers responded to a report of a strong-armed robbery on Fox Bay Road. That robbery happened about three miles from the Carolina Inn.

The victim’s truck broke down along the road and he said two black men pulled up next to him. The suspects brandished handguns and took the victim’s phone and wallet and fled the area. The victim described the vehicle as a dark color Dodge Dart, according to a police report.

Police also say the suspect committed a robbery at the Sun-Do convenience store in Chadbourn, North Carolina. An employee says he saw a gray sedan pull into the lot and then two black men rushed into the store with their guns drawn. Video surveillance showed two black men, wearing dark clothing with their faces covered. They forced customers to the ground at gunpoint and took the register as they fled the store.

Bellamy was charged in Horry County in April with armed robbery, weapons, kidnapping and several other charges related to a 2016 incident. Those charges were all dropped in July of this year.

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