Mother's fury as serial thief who 'stole her son's bike' avoids jail after she took fight against crime into her own hands by picketing his house with 'Where's My Bike Dave' placard because cops 'refused to investigate'

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  • David Seager dodged jail after being convicted of eight bike thefts
  • Fuming mother Fiona Bateman claims he stole her son’s bike months before 

A prolific bicycle thief with a ‘sense of entitlement’ was tracked down by the frustrated mother of an alleged victim – who sat outside his house with a sign that read: ‘Where’s My Bike Dave?’.

David Seager, 49, stole eight bicycles in a summer-long spree last year – months after Fiona Bateman set up outside his house after allegedly seeing him steal her son Graeme’s mountain bike on a neighbour’s CCTV.

Seager, of Witney, Oxfordshire, was reportedly identified by social media users after Mrs Bateman made an appeal in November 2021 – but she claimed ‘not much was happening’ after she referred the matter to the police.

The 54-year-old alleged that officers from Thames Valley Police told her Graeme’s bicycle was ‘just a bike’ – despite the fact the 20-year-old doesn’t drive and had relied on the £450 two-wheeler to get around.

Fed up, she then tracked Seager down and sat outside his house for three days with her placard, to the amusement of residents. A local Facebook group even dropped off a hot chocolate and a bunch of flowers.

Fiona Bateman outside David Seager's house after she claimed that he stole her son Graeme's bike - with a sign reading: 'Where's my bike Dave?'

Fiona Bateman outside David Seager’s house after she claimed that he stole her son Graeme’s bike – with a sign reading: ‘Where’s my bike Dave?’

David Seager dodged jail after he was convicted of eight bicycle thefts committed in the summer of 2022
Mrs Bateman claims that Seager is the man seen on CCTV stealing her son Graeme's bike months before

David Seager (left) dodged jail after he was convicted of eight bicycle thefts committed in the summer of 2022. Mrs Bateman claims that Seager is the man seen on CCTV stealing her son Graeme’s bike months before (right)

READ MORE: The everyday ‘superhero’ putting police to shame on ‘petty’ crime: Vigilante reveals how he has reunited FIVE HUNDRED owners with their stolen bikes by posing as a buyer and confronting the thieves – when cops have failed to help 


But at Oxford Crown Court earlier this month, Seager swerved jail for a spate of bike thefts in 2022 – being given a suspended sentence and an order to complete a drug rehabilitation programme.

Following the sentencing Fiona, who runs a haberdashery in Kidlington with her husband Bob, 64, said: ‘We had a bike stolen by him. Does that mean I should feel entitled to steal someone else’s?

‘It’s just frustrating that he got a slap on the wrist. 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. He stole so my son has to now walk. But that’s OK, just as long as Dave doesn’t feel aggrieved.’

Seager was interviewed by the police a number of times. In court he was shown footage of one theft that was captured on CCTV – but denied it was him.

He was said to have used bolt cutters to slice his way through locks in order to get away with bicycles ranging in value from a few hundred pounds to an e-bike worth more than £2,000.

One victim was said to have returned from an appointment to find that his bicycle, left locked up outside a GP surgery in Witney, had vanished.

Another bicycle was taken from outside Witney leisure centre, the court was told.

The defendant was said to have come across as uninterested when he was interviewed by a probation officer for a pre-sentence report.

Fiona Bateman says that she feels Seager has 'got away' with allegedly stealing her son's bike after he dodged jail for another eight bike thefts

Fiona Bateman says that she feels Seager has ‘got away’ with allegedly stealing her son’s bike after he dodged jail for another eight bike thefts

Mrs Bateman's sign, which she sat with outside Seager's house. Police reportedly told her that her son Graeme's bicycle was 'just a bike' after she tried to report the theft

Mrs Bateman’s sign, which she sat with outside Seager’s house. Police reportedly told her that her son Graeme’s bicycle was ‘just a bike’ after she tried to report the theft

READ MORE: Do YOU live in one of England’s bike theft hotspots? Map shows the best and worst regions for stolen bicycles


Seager’s barrister, Peter du Feu, characterised his attitude as ‘I had my bike stolen, I’ve got mobility problems so really I’m fairly callous about taking other people’s bikes’.

Passages of the report were read out by the judge, with the probation officer describing Seager as showing a ‘sense of entitlement’, stealing bikes ‘deliberately and brazenly’ simply to get him from A to B.

However, Mr du Feu said his client was ‘quite upset’ by the report and ’embarrassed’ – both by the probation officer’s words and the fact he had stolen others’ property.

But Fiona and Bob have labelled the claim he was stealing bikes to get about his local area as ‘ridiculous’, and claimed he was behind ‘dozens’ of alleged thefts of bikes.

Fiona added: ‘We just think police are overlooking crimes like bike thefts because they are not major crimes – but they really affect our lives.

‘Our son Graeme cannot drive, and without his bike he’s now having to borrow his father’s bike.

‘The bike was not cheap, the cheapest replacement for his bike we can find is over £400.

‘It really does feel like Dave has just got away with it.’

Cyclists have long shared their frustration at a seeming lack of inaction by police on bike thefts.

Earlier this month, MailOnline reported on Damian Groves, 34, who tracked down four professional cycles valued at £36,000 that were stolen from him in Newcastle-upon-Lyme, Staffordshire, in June.

Mr Groves grew frustrated after police failed to act on information he gave them – including the names of two suspects – and eventually tracked the bicycles to Poland, spending a total of £6,000 to get them back.

Activist Omar Terrywall has taken the law into his own hands, reuniting 500 people with their stolen bikes after posing as a buyer before confronting thieves. 

Expert tips for keeping your bicycle safe 

With an estimated 71,541 cases of bike theft expected to take place across England in 2023, it’s crucial that cyclists do everything in their power to prevent their bikes from being stolen. 

Here are a few things cyclists can to do keep them secure:

  • Always double lock: Invest in a couple of high-quality locks to slow potential thieves down and make your bike less of a target.
  • Think carefully about where you park. Only ever secure your bike to something that can’t be moved, cut through, or broken.
  • Register with the National Cycle Database. If your bike is stolen and the police recover it, they’ll know straight away that it belongs to you.

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