‘Missing’ children found safe after going shopping alone in Romford Tesco store
A five-year-old boy and his seven-year-old sister were found in a supermarket more than one-and-a-half miles from their home after a two-hour police search.
The siblings were on a shopping spree for one of their birthdays.
The youngsters – who were hunted by police using a helicopter and search dogs – were finally found safe and well in the Tesco store in Gallows Corner, Harold Hill, when they tried to pay for their items after going missing from their home in Daventry Road, Harold Hill, on Wednesday at around 7.30am.
Shop assistant Angela Horsey was at a self-service checkout when she saw the pair walking around the aisles with a trolley bursting with sweets, yoghurts and Peppa Pig toys.
She realised they were on their own when the youngsters came to the checkout and the girl started to scan the items before trying to pay with coins in her purse.
When Angela asked her where their mum was she was told that she was still in bed and she had gone out to do some shopping, but her little brother had followed her.
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Angela said: “At the time I was really frantic and was panicking because I just didn’t understand why these two children were on their own.
“I was really scared because it reminded me of when my children were little and I thought that there is no way that someone would send them out to do their shopping.”
The youngsters were reported missing after sneaking out of their front door which had been left open.
The pair travelled 1.7 miles from their home, crossing the traffic lights to get across the busy Gallows Corner roundabout just to get to the store.
When the police arrived the girl told the officers that she wanted to buy something for her birthday later in the week.
Angela said: “It is funny to think that the these two children just wondered off on their own.
“I am just happy that they are safe and well and no harm came to them.”