Jenson Button believes burglars may have used anesthetic to knock out him and his wife, Jessica, so they could ransack his vacation home.
According to NBC News, the Formula One driver was vacationing with his wife at a rented French Riviera villa in Saint-Tropez, France, when two thieves broke in and stole several pieces of jewelry, including Jessica’s five-carat engagement ring, a three-stoned large teardrop diamond set in a diamond-encrusted platinum band valued at approximately $388,000.
A report by The Sun suggests $465,000 worth of items were taken from the couple’s home. The police reportedly told the couple that they believe the thieves first gassed them by placing an anesthetic through the air conditioning vents, knocking them out before breaking into the home.
“Jenson, Jessica and friends were on holiday in a rented villa in St Tropez when on Monday evening two men broke into the property whilst they all slept and stole a number of items of jewelry including, most upsettingly, Jessica’s engagement ring,” a post on Button’s official Facebook fan page, which has 834,000 likes, read. “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. Whilst unharmed everyone involved is unsurprisingly shaken by the events.”
However, according to the Telegraph, anaesthesia experts have debunked the claims that Jenson Button was knocked out using sleeping gas, despite the police and the driver believing that is what happened.
“Jenson is convinced that’s what happened too,” a source close to the couple said. “The burglars were in the same room as him and Jessica, rifling through all their drawers. But they weren’t disturbed at all because the effects of the gas gives the burglars free reign.”
A spokeswoman for the Royal College of Anaesthetists said such a heist would be nearly impossible to pull off and would be very impractical.
“Our view is that it is very unlikely because it would be so impractical,” she said, adding that they would have been able to smell the gas even if they were asleep. “You would need to use a truckload of gas, and that amount would be phenomenally expensive to obtain. One has to ask why anyone would spend so much money on what is such an impractical method.”
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