Crime

Reward offered in connection to Food Lion murder, Loris armed robbery case

Police make an arrest in connection to a murder and armed robberies in Horry County.

Horry County Police charged James Laverne Bellamy, of Tabor City, N.C. with murder, kidnapping and robbery in relation to incidents at the Food Lion and in Loris.
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Horry County Police charged James Laverne Bellamy, of Tabor City, N.C. with murder, kidnapping and robbery in relation to incidents at the Food Lion and in Loris.

Federal officials offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects responsible for a homicide and robbery spree in Horry County and North Carolina.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says there are three suspects in the case. Two remain at large and should be considered armed and “extremely” dangerous.

James Bellamy was arrested this week in connection to the case. Horry County police charged him with murder, three counts of kidnapping, two counts of armed robbery and two counts of possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

The ATF announced the reward on Friday. Anyone with information is asked to contact the agency at 180-ATF-GUNS, by email at ATFTips@atf.go, through the ATF phone app or through the website www.atf.gov/contact/atf-tips. Information can also be provided to Horry County Police at (843) 915-TIPS.

The suspects are wanted for a spree that started at about 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 15 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.

Police say two men shot and killed a driver while stealing a car. The men allegedly went on an armed robbery spree from Loris into North Carolina. This video shows the suspects at the Sun-Do convenience store.

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 at about 11:20 p.m. An employee said 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.

According to an ATF release, a stolen vehicle from a Time Saver convenience store at about 11:45 p.m. near the North Carolina/South Carolina state line was also part of the spree. Police later found that vehicle.

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