In a crime that sounds as if it was from a James Bond film instead of real life, F1 driver Jenson Button and wife Jessica Michibata were robbed in a vacation home in the south of France. Burglars pumped anesthetic gas through the home to knock the couple out before stealing over $465,000 worth of items.
According to The Sun, Button, Michibata and three friends were in the rented villa in Saint-Tropez, France, all five of whom were knocked out by gas pumped that burglars pumped through the air conditioning vents. Button and Michibata were in bed, not realizing that anything was happening until they woke up. The three friends were asleep in other rooms. Burglars waited until everyone was already asleep to make sure the robbery went off as seamless as possible.
Michibata’s three-stone diamond and platinum wedding ring was among the stolen goods. The ring alone is worth over $387,000.
A source close to the couple told The Sun that police are convinced that gas was used in the air conditioning units to knock the vacationers out, as it’s becoming an increasingly common way to rob high-dollar properties without fear of being caught. Robbers were likely staking out the property during the entire duration of their stay.
“The first they were aware was when they woke up groggy the next morning and realized the house had been turned upside down,” said the unnamed source to The Sun. “It was a terrifying experience for them to know these criminals were actually in the room with them.”
According to the unnamed source, the couple is most upset over the missing wedding ring. Michibata and Button tied the knot in December 2014. Fortunately, everyone was fine, but the source said that everyone was “unsurprisingly shaken” by the incident.
While an unnamed source in a British tabloid may not be the most reliable source to go on, the BBC cited several of the same quotes as The Sun, referring to that source as Button’s spokesman.
Per The Sun, the couple and their friends were shaken to the point where they left the day after the burglary. Police believe two criminals were working together on the robbery.
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