The Grand Tour host Richard Hammond, his wife Mindy, and daughter Willow were the targets of a burglary while staying at a luxury villa with 12 other people late last month, according to a report by the Sunday Express. While the house slept soundly, burglars broke in and relieved guests of their cash and valuables. During the night, the intruders opened drawers, searched through handbags, and opened doors. The following morning, all 15 of the house guests found items missing and bedroom doors wide open.
Because the nature of the intrusion certainly must have been noisy and time consuming, Mindy Hammond told the Sunday Express she was “pretty convinced we must have been gassed or something,” she later continued by saying “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.” The Telegraph has contacted experts who claim that chloroform or ether would have caused coughing and sputtering—surely not the right tool for subduing 15 people then—and gasses like nitrous oxide could not be pumped into the villa in concentrations high enough to knock the victims out for long. Perhaps they were simply brazen and extremely quiet.
Arsenal football star Patrick Vieira was targeted similarly in Cannes in 2006, with gas allegedly discovered in the ventilation system. Formula One world champion Jenson Button says he was also sedated during a burglary in a rented villa, also in Saint Tropez, back in 2010.
The house next door had also been burgled that same night. The two perpetrators were caught on CCTV and were arrested within 48 hours of the incident. Perhaps constable Clarkson was on the case?