Grand Tour star Richard Hammond and his wife Mindy were gassed and burgled as they slept in their holiday villa in the South of France. A team of burglars used knock-out gas on Hammond and his family before pillaging their San Tropez villa, his wife Mindy fears. Mindy told how the burglars searched the rooms of all 15 guests in the home rifling bedside drawers for cash and jewellery. She says her blood runs cold when she recalls that she was woken on the night of the raid, went downstairs to investigate but thought it must have been guests staying with them and went back to bed.
She said: “The real horror story for me was that the night before we were late to bed and I heard a door downstairs shut. I thought, ‘That’s a bit bizarre’, and decided I had to check it.” Richard Hammond with wife Amanda Etheridge
She continued: “I went downstairs and into the hallway. The door into the living room was shut but I heard a male voice behind the door. “I thought it was another couple staying up and went back to bed. “Actually, it was the burglars. “That just makes my blood run cold. I could have easily walked in and it could have been unpleasant.” Use of anaesthetic gas has been reported before in the area, and previously suspected victims have included Formula 1 driver Jenson Button. Mindy said the guests had been enjoying their stay in the villa, dressing up in 1920s clothing, drinking vintage cocktails and dancing. Richard Hammond after surviving his second near-fatal supercar crash during filming the Grand Tour
The day after the raid, their younger daughter, Willow, 15, realised her watch was missing. Cash was stolen from purses as the burglars went through people’s handbags. “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,” Mindy said. “That morning I slept in until eight. I didn’t even wake to Richard’s snoring! Nobody woke up. “It turned out they had burgled the neighbouring property as well in the same night. The two raiders were caught on camera – and police arrested them within 48 hours of the break-in last month.