amie Bellows, 28, Chafen Road and Xavier Whyte, 29, Wilton Road have been sentenced to 14 years imprisonment at Southampton Crown Court today (July 18)
Bellows and Whyte, both from Southampton, pleaded guilty on June 27 to conspiring to commit robbery following an investigation into a cash-in-transit robbery that happened at 10am on Thursday 29 December 2015 at Sainsbury’s in Bitterne precinct, Southampton.
Today (Tuesday 18 July) Bellows was sentenced to 7-and-a-half years in prison whilst Whyte was sentenced to 6-and-a-half years behind bars.
Bellows and White used a stolen BMW on false plates to commit their crime. They waited outside Sainsbury’s in the vehicle for a cash-delivery driver to arrive. The driver walked into the store and made a collection of £30,000. On his way back to his van, he was ambushed and threatened by Bellows who chased him and snatched the cash box.
Bellows, dressed in dark clothing and a hooded top in an attempt to try and conceal his identity, ran from the scene and jumped into the stolen car where Whyte was waiting for him as getaway driver. The pair then made off at high speed.
The incident was reported to police moments later.
The empty cash box was later recovered on Whitworth Crescent, near to Bellows’ home address.
The cash however has never been traced.
Bellows was arrested in February 2016 and Whyte later in March. Both were released on bail while officers scoured all available lines of enquiry that tracked the robber’s movements before and after the snatch.
Hours and hours of CCTV, forensic examinations as well as potential digital evidence and detailed mobile phone analysis allowed detectives to hunt these two men down.
Bellows and Whyte remained silent whilst in police custody and throughout their interviews. The pair were then charged with conspiracy to rob in October 2016 when the pieces of evidence painted a picture of their culpability.
Such as the overwhelming evidence against them, both men pleaded guilty to the crime at Southampton Crown Court June 27, 2017.
The senior investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Will Whale from Southampton Central Police Station said: “Bellows and Whyte pleaded guilty to their involvement in significant criminality, committing a crime that was not just a business crime, but a personal one too. I welcome this sentence that marks the conclusion of a very complex investigation.
“Both men were forensically aware in the preparation and execution of this crime and it has taken a dedicated team of detectives to bring them to justice.
“I commend the bravery of the security delivery driver who was left traumatised after this attack, I acknowledge the support of the security company and I commend the investigators whose time, effort and unrelenting professionalism got us to the truth.”