Richard Hammond and Family Gassed and Robbed in French Villa

September 4, 2018 Updated: September 4, 2018

A team of burglars stole from “The Grand Tour” host Richard Hammond, his family, and his guests after being gassed in Southern France.

Richard’s wife, Mindy, told The Daily Express that she believed everyone was knocked out by anaesthetic gas when their possessions were stolen.

A few hours after they hosted a 1920s-themed cocktail party in a San Tropez villa, Mindy and Richard were late to bed that night when she heard a door downstairs shut.

The streets of San Tropez in the southeast of France, on Oct. 4, 2010. (justinknabb via Flickr [CC BY-SA-2.0])
She went downstairs to the living room door and heard a male voice.

The 53-year-old said, “Thought it was another couple staying up and went back to bed.”

“Actually, it was the burglars,” said Mindy.

Had she walked in and checked the living room, the outcome may have been different.

“That just makes my blood run cold,” she said.

After the Robbery

The day after the robbery, 15-year-old Willow Hammond couldn’t find her watch.

They thought it had been misplaced or one of the other children had sleepwalked during the night.

What happened to them didn’t become apparent until Richard Hammond called out to everyone and asked, “Have you looked in your purses?”

When they all checked their purses and wallets, they discovered that all their cash had disappeared. All their other belongings were still there.

Given the events that have occurred so far, Mindy recalled something strange when she woke up that morning. Everyone’s bedroom doors were open.

Convinced that everyone had been gassed, she said it was because the burglars had the confidence to check every part of house; being “quite satisfied that people aren’t going to wake up.”

They also found out that a nearby property was also robbed.

Not long after the realising what happened, they contacted the owner of the villa. The owner and his wife got involved and contacted the police.

On that night, the police were patrolling the area and the Hammonds employed security guards to keep everyone safe for the remainder of the holiday.

The burglars were caught on camera, and were arrested within 48 hours of the incident.

“One of them looked quite a lot like Richard!” said Mindy.

All that was stolen was Willow’s watch and everyone’s cash.

This incident didn’t stop anyone from enjoying their vacation, but it did raise a lot of concern for the children and husbands.

It was particularly worrying for the Hammonds as their teenage daughter was unconscious while strangers were searching her room.

The other concern involved their wives worrying that their husbands would stay up all night just to protect their families.

“That could have ended up in a very bad situation if there was a confrontation. There would have been too much emotion involved,” said Mindy.

Although the Hammonds made an attempt to stay awake to act as lookouts, Richard Hammond started snoring after volunteering for ‘first watch.’