In Brief

Richard Hammond and family ‘gassed by burglars’

Former Top Gear presenter and his family feared to be latest victims of gang using anaesthetic gas

Former Top Gear host Richard Hammond and his wife believe they were “gassed” before being robbed at their holiday home in France.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the couple and 15 guests including their two teenage daughters are feared to be the latest victims of a gang of burglars targeting luxury villas in Saint Tropez.

The newspaper says that thieves are “known to have previously pumped anaesthetic gas through air conditioning systems” in a series of raids on the French Riviera.

Describing the incident as a “horror story”, Hammond’s wife, Mindy, told the Sunday Express that she had heard one of the burglars downstairs in the rented villa and had gone down to investigate, before going back to bed.

“I'm pretty convinced we must have been gassed or something, because they were in all of the bedrooms. They went where they wanted, into each room, opening and closing the drawers, searching through handbags etc,” said the mother of two, who writes a column for the newspaper.

“You have got to have some kind of confidence to do that and to be quite satisfied that people aren’t going to wake up.

“That just makes my blood run cold. I could have easily walked in and it could have been unpleasant.”

The family confirmed that two raiders were caught on camera and arrested within 48 hours.

Ex-Arsenal footballer Patrick Vieira and Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button were victims of similar attacks in 2006 and 2010, respectively, with traces of anaesthetic gas found in their properties’ ventilation systems.

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