Two teenage girls have been charged with kidnap after a 3-year-old girl went missing from a Primark store in central Newcastle.
The girls, 13 and 14, were arrested by Northumbria police about an hour after the alarm was raised shortly before 5pm on Wednesday on suspicion of child abduction.
Late on Thursday they were charged with two counts of shoplifting, as well as one count of kidnap.
They have been remanded in custody and are due to appear at North Tyneside magistrates' court later today.
Police had been informed a girl had gone missing from Primark in the city's Northumberland Street.
Officers established she had left the store with two teenagers she did not know, and retailers, shop staff, local travel networks, and specialist search staff joined the search.
The girl was found by a police community support officer an hour later in Gosforth, north of Newcastle city centre, and was reunited with her mother.
"This has been an incredibly distressing time for the girl’s family and specialist officers are working with and supporting the family," said Chief Inspector Dave Gould.
Matthew Champion is a deputy world news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Matthew Champion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.