Spokesman: Gas use suspected in burglary of F1 driver Jenson Button and wife

    F1 driver and wife burglarized
    F1 driver and wife burglarized

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    Story highlights

    • Gas is suspected to have been used in the air conditioner in Jenson Button's rented villa, says spokesman
    • Two men broke into the Buttons' vacation home in Saint Tropez on Monday night, the spokesman says

    (CNN)Formula One driver Jenson Button's wife Jessica had her engagement ring stolen when thieves broke into a rented house in France -- in a burglary that may have involved the use of gas, a spokesman for Button said.

    The British McLaren Honda driver, his wife and friends were vacationing in a villa in Saint-Tropez, on the French Riviera, when two men broke in on Monday night while they all slept, said spokesman James Williamson.
      Gas is suspected to have been used in the villa's air-conditioning unit, he told CNN. He didn't elaborate on what kind of gas it might have been.
      The thieves "stole a number of items of jewelery including, most upsettingly, Jessica's engagement ring," he said in a statement.
      "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."
      Police in Saint-Tropez declined to comment on the reported theft.
      Button, who lives in Monaco, has enjoyed a 15-year career as a Formula One driver and was 2009 world champion.
      The 35-year-old married model Jessica Michibata, born and raised in Japan, at the end of last year.
      Pictures posted to her Instagram account last weekend show her on a beach wearing what appears to be a large diamond engagement ring.