Jenson Button possible victim of St Tropez ‘Sleeping gas burglary’

© By Rego Korosi, Wikimedia Commons.

BRITISH Formula One driver Jenson Button and his wife, Jessica, were left shaken after a burglary in their rented French holiday villa, where it’s thought they may have been gassed by thieves while asleep.

The pair were staying in St Tropez with friends, when they awoke to find jewellery had been taken, including Jessica’s engagement ring. 

A spokesperson for the couple said: “The police have indicated that this has become a growing problem in the region with perpetrators going so far as to gas their proposed victims through the air conditioning units before breaking in.”

The use of anaesthetic gas has been mentioned in a number of burglaries in France, including a 2006 case where Patrick Vieira and his family were left feeling unwell following a robbery on their home near Cannes.

However, a French security expert told the BBC’s correspondent that he had never heard of hard evidence of a ‘sleeping gas burglary.’ “I don’t believe in it at all,” he said.

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    • PeterMac

      10 August 2015 • 12:06

      “Gas” is an urban myth. The Royal College of Anaesthetists de-bunked it some time ago. If I may refer to the paper. . .”” in which they point out “If there was a totally safe, odourless, potent, cheap anaesthetic agent available to thieves for this purpose it is likely the medical profession would know about it and be investigating its use in anaesthetic practice.”

    • Mike

      11 August 2015 • 09:34

      Just as a matter of interest, I know of two families here on Mijas Costa that appeared to be gassed (This was around 6 to 7 years ago), they both had more or less the same stories… going to bed in the evening, they both had a young child, where light sleepers because of the young child, those in the house waking up in morning with headaches after sleeping most of the evening, house was ram sacked including the bedrooms, none of the occupants where disturbed or woken up… it would seem gas was the obvious culprit, which the Police actually confirmed was their thinking also. The police had also confirmed that there had been more than several robberies on villas along Mijas Costa where the same or similar was the case.

      If these experts think it is not possible then maybe they should offer some explanation because as of yet everyone that has been robbed this way they I know of and the police feel that gas was the used!

    • PeterMac

      11 August 2015 • 15:31

      You may be right, but the evidence does not bear it out. A normal AL63 scuba tank holds around 1800 l. when pressurised. A human lung has a capacity of around 6 l. A 4m x 4m x 3.5m room contains 56,000 litres of air. You would need 30 scuba tanks to fill the room. In this case they were talking about an entire apartment being filled with gas ! Possible. But not probable. And to wake with no after effects, no nausea or vomiting, require no medical treatment or observation . . .

    • Mike

      12 August 2015 • 08:50

      Yes this might be but who is to know they have not made some potent mix that doesn’t need to fill the entire air capacity of the apartment or villa, maybe one that is so powerful that if it did fill the apartment it would cause major side effects or worse but in not being able to so only a small amount is inhaled, as I mentioned the people I know reported they all woke with bad headache so, they didn’t wake with the door being broken into and the house being totally ram sacked so… what other suggestions might be viable options for this.

      A military gas canister would probably fill an apartment with gas, maybe one or two of these could be set off and piped in through a window or air con from outside, with people being in sleep mode as such only a small amount might be needed to be inhaled as to keep people sleeping, maybe just a case of luck they haven’t overdosed any inhabitants that we know of up to now… I am not an expert but I can think of no other situation where people can be kept asleep when they would not normally be for buglers to break in and ram sack a property then come around with headaches, until someone comes up with some realistic alternative I have to think it was gas.

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