Their France vacation was almost ruined by burglars.
Richard Hammond found himself in serious danger during the summer holidays, but this time surprisingly not from a vehicular collision. The TV presenter was burgled while he and his family slept on vacation in France, and his wife is convinced they were knocked out with gas for the duration.
Richard Hammond at NHS Heroes Awards
The 48-year-old 'Grand Tour' star was targeted while staying at a Saint-Tropez villa earlier this year, when a group of burglars broke in to the property and made away with possessions and money belonging to the fifteen guests in the place - including Hammond's 15-year-old daughter Willow's watch. To make matters worse, wife Mindy Hammond actually investigated when she first heard a noise - a venture which may not have ended well.
'The real horror story for me was that the night before we were late to bed and I heard a door downstairs shut. I thought, 'That's a bit bizarre', and decided I had to check it', she told the Express. 'I went downstairs and into the hallway. The door into the living room was shut but I heard a male voice behind the door. I thought it was another couple staying up and went back to bed. Actually, it was the burglars.'
'That just makes my blood run cold', she added. 'I could have easily walked in and it could have been unpleasant.'
Moreover, there had been talk of a knock-out gas being used by burglars in the South of France previously, with F1 racer Jenson Button being one such victim according to reports.
'I'm pretty convinced we must have been gassed or something', she said, revealing that the robbers had literally been rifling through people's bedside drawers. 'You have got to have some kind of confidence to do that and to be quite satisfied that people aren't going to wake up.'
Thankfully, the police managed to catch the thieves within 48 hours thanks to CCTV - but the family still decided to employ a security guard for added protection and, because of that perhaps, they managed to salvage the rest of their holiday. Even though they only had money and Willow's watch taken, it was still a thoroughly traumatic experience for them all.
'It's particularly worrying when you have a teenage girl who knows that her bedside table has been rifled through while she was sleeping - that's not very nice at all', Mindy said.