TV host Richard Hammond was holidaying with family and friends in Saint Tropez when their villa was robbed overnight, but according to Hammond’s wife, Mindy, the robbery wasn’t a simple break and enter.
"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," she told the UK's Sunday Express.
The robbery occurred just days into the group’s trip, which prior to that point had, according to Mindy, included “dressing up in 1920s clothing, drinking vintage cocktails and dancing”.
“We realised something was wrong when [daughter] Willow couldn’t find her watch the next day, but we thought 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.
Given the risks the burglars took in coming into an occupied property - and occupied rooms, Mindy said she suspected they were gassed.
“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 morning I slept in until eight. I didn’t even wake to Richard’s snoring! Nobody woke up.”
Use of anaesthetic gas had been reported in the area, including in 2015, when Formula One driver Jensen Button and his fashion model wife Jessica Michibata were robbed of items valuing up to $630,000 while holidaying in Saint Tropez.
A spokesperson for the couple suggested anaesthetic gas had been piped through the air-conditioning vents of their villa, the UK Telegraph reported.
Some authoritie, however, have downplayed stories of gassings as "a myth" and suggested heavy drinking was often to blame.