Formula 1 star Jenson Button and his wife Jessica Michibata have been burgled while on holiday in the French Riviera. Two men broke into the rented villa in St Tropez where the couple were staying with friends and stole around £300,000 worth of valuables, including Jessica's £250,000 engagement ring. Jenson's spokesperson said they were unharmed but everyone was "unsurprisingly shaken".
It is thought that the perpetrators may have pumped anaesthetic gas through the air conditioning before breaking in on Monday, he added.
Jenson Button and his wife Jessica Michibata have been burgled while on holiday in France
"Two men broke into the property whilst they all slept and stole a number of items of jewellery including, most upsettingly, Jessica's engagement ring," the spokesman 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.
"Whilst unharmed, everyone involved is unsurprisingly shaken by the events."
A source told the Sun: "Police have told Jenson they're convinced the burglars gassed the house using the air conditioning units. Jenson is convinced that's what happened too. 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."
The thieves stole Jessica's beautiful £250,000 diamond engagement ring
It is thought there were three other people in the property at the time, and the group first discovered the house had been ransacked when they woke the next morning. "It was a terrifying experience for them to know these criminals were actually in the room with them," the source added.
Jenson, 35, is based in Monaco, about 80 miles along the coast from St Tropez. He and Japanese-Argentine model Jessica married in Hawaii last Christmas at a ceremony in Maui. "Happy New Year from Mr & Mrs Button," they both tweeted on New Year's Eve. "We're excited to see in the New Year with family and loved ones, we hope you are too!"