Richard Hammond’s wife Mindy has said she is “pretty convinced” they were gassed before being robbed at a villa in France.
She claimed that a holiday home they stayed in last month, which had 15 guests, was targeted by two raiders who stole cash and her teenage daughter Willow’s watch.
Mindy believes that everyone in the villa in Saint Tropez was knocked out by anaesthetic gas, because even the sound of the former Top Gear star’s snoring did not wake her.
She told the Sunday Express that they thought that something was wrong when Willow could not find her watch, but that perhaps “she’d just left it somewhere, or maybe one of the teenagers had been sleepwalking in the night”.
“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?’. We all looked in our purses and wallets and all the cash had gone. Nothing else had been stolen.”
She said she then realised something was odd, as her bedroom door – and the doors of the other guests – had been open in the morning.
She added: “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.”
Mindy said that the perpetrators “have got to have some kind of confidence to do that and to be quite satisfied that people aren’t going to wake up”.
She added: “That morning I slept in until eight. I didn’t even wake to Richard’s snoring! Nobody woke up.”
She said that the neighbouring property had also been burgled in the same night.
Mindy, a columnist for the newspaper, said that they employed a security guard after the incident, and that police arrested the two burglars within 48 hours as they were caught on CCTV.
In 2015, Formula One racing driver Jenson Button and his now ex-wife Jessica were burgled in their sleep at a holiday home in St Tropez.
The sports star was staying with friends in the popular holiday destination when thieves broke into the property, making off with valuables worth around £300,000, including Jessica’s engagement ring.
At the time, it was suggested that thieves had pumped gas into the property to keep the couple asleep, although this was later questioned by experts.