British family claim they were also gassed and robbed while staying at same villa as Jenson Button

Police suggest thieves 'gassing' holidaymakers is becoming more common

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The Independent Online

A British family have claimed they were gassed and robbed at the luxury French villa where Jenson Button and his wife Jessica Michibata were the victims of a jewellery raid.

KS Mehta, 20, was staying in St Tropez with his family in 2013 when they experienced nausea and dizziness, prompting them switch off the air conditioning.

When they woke up, they found £150,000 worth of jewellery and other goods had been stolen, mirroring the burglary which Button suffered last week.

Mehta explained to The Sun that he only realised he was staying at the same resort as Button when the formula one driver’s robbery made the news last week.

“We’d no idea someone was trying to gas us,” he said. “They must have been watching us for a few days.

“I didn't think anything of it until I saw Jenson's story and pictures of the villa that Jessica uploaded on Instagram and realised it was the same villa.”

The Formula 1 driver was staying at the villa when £300,000 worth of their belongings were stolen, including Michibata’s £250,000 engagement ring.

Reports suggested the couple were 'gassed unconscious' as burglars ransacked the property. French police believe a gang was watching the property for days before releasing anaesthetic gas into the air conditioning vent.

A spokesman for Button 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.”