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A determined mom in the U.K. helped bring a suspected bike thief to justice after holding sit-in protests outside his home.
“Where’s my bike Dave?” a sign held by mom Fiona Bateman read as she sat outside a suspect’s home in Witney, Oxfordshire.
Bateman said suspect David Seagar, 49, stole her son’s mountain bike from their garage in 2021, which she said was captured on her neighbor’s security camera. Months later, Seagar was accused of stealing eight other bikes in the area, according to the Daily Mail.
Bateman said posts on local social media groups erupted with claims that Seagar was behind the crimes, but when she went to the police “not much was happening.”
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Fiona Bateman sits outside David Seagar’s home with sign asking “Where’s My Bike Dave?” (SWNS )
The mom took matters into her own hands, tracked down Seagar’s home in Witney and picketed outside for three days with the sign inquiring about the bike. Locals rallied around her mission to bring Seagar to justice, according to SWNS, including members of one of the local Facebook groups meeting her at the home to deliver hot chocolate and a bouquet of flowers.
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Bateman did not get the bike back, but others soon came forward about their stolen bikes, which snowballed until Seagar was interviewed by police and ultimately brought before Oxford Crown Court last month.
Fiona Bateman sat outside bike thief suspect David Seagar’s home with a sign reading, “Where’s my bike, Dave?” (SWNS News )
One victim said his bike disappeared while he was in a general practice surgery center for an appointment, and another bike was stolen outside a gym in Witney, according to court documents.
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He was accused of using bolt cutters to steal the bikes, which ranged in value from a few hundred dollars to a roughly $2,500 electric bike.
David Seager leaves Oxford Crown Court. (SWNS )
Seagar avoided jail time when he was sentenced on Sept. 15. Instead, he was given two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete a drug rehab and “thinking skills” programs, according to SWNS. Seagar’s sentence means he needs to stay out of legal trouble for the next two years or he could face jail time.
Bateman said Seagar’s sentencing was “frustrating” and asked in comment to SWNS if the man had plans to buy a new bike for her son.
“We had a bike stolen by him. Does that mean I should feel entitled to steal someone else’s?” she said. “It’s just frustrating that he got a slap on the wrist.”
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Mom Fiona Bateman took crime issues into her own hands when her son’s bike was stolen. (SWNS News)
“Where are the bikes? How about buying my son a new bike? We can’t afford the four, five, six hundred pounds to replace it,” she continued. “He stole so my son has to now walk. But that’s OK, just as long as Dave doesn’t feel aggrieved.”
U.K. mom Fiona Bateman said security footage captured the moment a suspect grabbed her son’s bike and rode off. (SWNS News )
Seager denied in court that he was the culprit in the security footage that captured the theft of Bateman’s bike.
Seagar’s attorney, Peter du Feu, summed up Seagar’s attitude as: “I had my bike stolen, I’ve got mobility problems so really I’m fairly callous about taking other people’s bikes.” A probation officer who spoke before the court described Seagar as holding a “sense of entitlement” and “deliberately and brazenly” stole bikes in order to transport himself across town.
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Du Feu said Seagar was “quite upset” over the whole ordeal and “embarrassed” about the remarks made in court.