Former F1 racing champion Jenson Button, 35, and his model wife, Jessica Michibata, 30, were vacationing with friends at a rented villa in Saint-Tropez, France when they were unknowingly gassed by a group of burglars in the middle of the night.

While everyone was passed out, robbers stole valuables of up to $329,000, including the Japanese-born model’s engagement ring worth almost $275,000. The couple, who got married this January, was unhurt, but said that everyone was “unsurprisingly shaken by the events.”

Button’s representative revealed the news of the rash break-in, adding that the burglars rifled through the rented villa as everyone lied unconscious in their beds—so the group only discovered what had happened when they awoke the next morning to find Michibata’s ring missing.


Meanwhile, the police believe that this gang had reportedly been keeping tabs on the villa before executing the crime. An insider close to the couple also said in an interview with The Sun that the police are sure the luxury house was gassed with the help of the home’s air conditioning system. “The burglars were in the same room as him and Jessica, rifling through all their drawers,” revealed the source. “But they weren’t disturbed at all because the effects of the gas gives the burglars free reign.” The investigation will continue based on CCTV footage.

This type of robbery has been noted a lot in the past 15 years in the French Riviera. The local gang sedates victims through open windows, balconies, or air conditioning systems and then proceeds to steal valuables while donning gas masks themselves.


Upal, S., et al., “Jenson button and his model wife Jessica Michibata were GASSED by burglars who broke into their St Tropez villa and stole her £250,000 diamond engagement ring while they were out cold,” Daily Mail web site, August 7, 2015;

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