Father of missing Berkshire family 'a scrap metal dealer'

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Michael Lee Cole, Michael John Cole, Harry ColeImage source, Thames Valley Police
Image caption,
Police are concerned about the 'long-term welfare' of Michael John Cole's sons

A man who disappeared with his two young sons is a scrap metal dealer and yard owners should be "vigilant", police have said.

An "urgent" search was launched after Michael John Cole, 43, and sons Michael Lee, eight, and Harry, seven, were reported missing from Arborfield in Berkshire on 2 October.

The force said it had since received "a great number of calls" which had provided "significant information".

The appeal was renewed on Wednesday.

The last confirmed sighting of Mr Cole was in Grazeley, Berkshire, on 8 September and it was believed he was planning to travel by train to Shropshire or Wales the following day.

Supt Shaun Virtue said: "New information has come into us that Michael John deals in scrap metal so we would ask scrap metal yard owners and staff to be vigilant."

He added that Mr Cole, who is separated from the boys' mother, did not pose "any immediate risk" to their safety but there were concerns for their long-term welfare.

Anybody who sees the trio have been urged by police to dial 999.

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