A MISSING toddler sparked a frantic police search at a garden centre before being found fast asleep in the pet section.
Police "locked down" Bradley Fold Garden Centre in Radcliffe Moor Road, Bradley Fold, after the three-year-old’s grandparents reported him missing this morning.
More than 20 staff and concerned members of the public joined in the search for the boy before he was found sleeping on the floor, nestled next to a shelf and just feet away from the rabbits.
A police spokesman confirmed the three-year-old boy was reported missing at the shop at 11.07am.
He said: “Police are locking down the garden centre to look for him to try and find him.”
Staff raised alarm after the boy was reported missing by his grandma and granddad.
They had been shopping in the centre for a short time when they realised the boy was missing and the police were alerted.
About seven police cars were seen outside the garden centre as the large-scale operation was carried out, with people checking all corners of the family-run centre.
Along with police, staff inspected footage from the centre’s security cameras to no avail.
The garden centre was closed and put on "lock down" by police before the oblivious youngster was found by a member of staff, after being missing for about half an hour.
The discovery sparked immense relief among the boy’s grandparents, staff and police as the announcement was made over the centre’s loudspeaker.
Initial reports suggested the boy had been asleep in a dog basket, but it later emerged that he was on the floor in the pets section.