Two teenage girls have been charged with kidnapping a three-year-old girl from a branch of Primark in Newcastle City centre on Wednesday (13 April). The mother of the girl reported her missing just before 5pm.
The girl was found by a Police Community Support Office three miles away in Gosforth just over an hour later. The two girls, aged 13 and 14, will appear at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court on Friday. They are also charged with shoplifting.
In a statement Northumbria Police said: "This is an update in relation to the abduction incident in Northumberland Street, Newcastle. We have tonight charged two girls, aged 13 and 14, with two counts of shoplifting and one count of kidnap. They have been remanded in custody and will appear at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court on Friday, April 15."
After the child was reported missing police scoured CCTV cameras and alerted travel networks throughout the city. Police thanked the local community for their help in tracing the missing toddler.
Chief Inspector Dave Gould said: "Thankfully the child was quickly located by officers and then reunited with her mother. This has been an incredibly distressing time for the girls family and specialist officers are working with and supporting the family.
"We mobilised all available local police resources to make sure the girl was found as quickly as possible and also included assistance from the public, and many of our partner agencies including Newcastle local authority and university as well as staff from retail premises, bus companies, train station and metro system.
"I would like to thank all of those involved for their help in finding this little girl and helping reunite her with her mother. Our enquiries will now continue to establish the circumstances of what happened and speaking to the two teenage girls in custody regarding the incident."