Pair arrested on suspicion of $20,000 Safeway heist

Mario Bellinghausen

Morgan Hill police arrested a former Safeway employee and his accomplice after the pair allegedly stole about $20,000 cash from the grocery store’s safe early Thursday morning. 

Just past midnight Aug. 22, Mario Bellinghausen, 22 of Santa Nella, entered the store wearing a surgical mask to hide his identity, according to a press release from Morgan Hill Police. As a former Safeway employee, Bellinghausen was entrusted with the code to the store’s safe. He even spoke to his former manager at the store just before the heist. 

Bellinghausen stole more than $20,000 from the store’s safe and was seen running out of the store to get away in his car, police said. 

Later that day, officers located Bellinghausen with half of the stolen cash, police said. 

Then on Aug. 24, police identified and arrested Yesmith Sandoval, 22 of Los Banos, at a pizza parlor in Los Banos, police said. She had the remaining loot from the burglary, minus a share used by Bellinghausen to bail out of jail. 

Both were booked into Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of conspiracy and burglary, police said.

Police think the pair orchestrated the burglary as a retaliation to Safeway for terminating Bellinghausen’s employment at the store. 

Detectives recovered “nearly all” of the cash stolen from Safeway, police said. 

Anyone with information about this case can contact Morgan Hill Police at (408) 779-2101.