Richard Hammond And Wife Gassed And Robbed In French Villa
Mindy Hammond claims her family and their guests were all victims of a gas-based robbery.
It's like something out of an Ocean's movie, but Richard Hammond and his wife Mindy believe they were gassed and robbed while holidaying in the south of France.
Telling Express of their ordeal, Mindy claimed the pair were at a San Tropez villa with 15 guests in the home, all of who were reportedly burgled.
Mindy claimed it wasn't until their 15-year-old daughter Willow went to look for her watch that they began to notice items had been taken. "We thought she’d just left it somewhere, or maybe one of the teenagers had been sleepwalking in the night," she explained.
"It wasn’t until myself and the other mums were taking the kids to the beach that Richard called and said, ‘Have you looked in your purses?’," Mindy said, "We all looked in our purses and wallets and all the cash had gone. Nothing else had been stolen."
Mindy believed the entire household was "gassed or something" as none of them woke during the raid. "They went where they wanted, into each room, opening and closing the drawers... 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."
After alerting the owner of the villa the police were contacted and two of the robbers were caught on CCTV, "One of them looked quite a lot like Richard," Mindy said, before adding that they were quickly apprehended.
While the robbers apparently only nabbed cash from wallets and purses and their daughter's watch, Mindy says the trip wasn't entirely spoiled.
She also said that she and her husband attempted to stay awake one night to keep watch for any others who may be sneaking around, "Although Richard announced he would take ‘first watch’, he promptly began snoring".
Earlier this year there were reports that their Herefordshire castle had been broken into in a "James Bond style heist", with police confirming they were investigating a break-in.
Hammond denied the claims later, posting a video where he "thanked" the press for letting him know about the burglary.
"The thing is, I'd never have known because nothing has been taken and nobody has broken in," Hammond said in the video adding, "I know it's terrifying. What is it when there's a burglary where nobody breaks in and nothing is stolen?"
Gas robberies have been common in the area, with Formula 1 driver Jenson Button and his wife reporting a similar experience in 2015, TV stars Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine reported they were gassed during the Cannes Film Festival in 2002, and former Arsenal footballer Patrick Vieira also claimed he and his family were gassed in Cannes in 2006.
Victims are reportedly exposed to an anaesthetic-based gas that can often be pumped in through air conditioners, where they wake up feeling groggy, later discovering their belongings have been raided.
Yet despite the amount of claims that celebrities have been gassed while on holiday, back in 2015 the Royal College of Anaesthetists released a statement saying they were "very sceptical" that an anaesthetic could be weaponised on such a scale.
"They would need massive amounts of gas... We can't rule out that some sort of agent was used, but the volume of gas and the logistics involved in delivering it make it highly unlikely that this was anaesthetic."
"These gases are expensive and difficult to get hold of," the statement read, "we are very sceptical".
Featured image: Getty images.