Friday 23 February 2018

Irish man gassed by thieves and robbed of cash, credit cards and clothes while on holiday in France

A camper-van similar to the one Tony was travelling in
A camper-van similar to the one Tony was travelling in
Jenson Button and his wife Jessica lay unconscious as burglars using gas broke into their room and took her £250,000 engagement ring. Photo: Twitter

Sarah-Jane Murphy

An Irish man has told how he was robbed when his camper-van was gassed in a similar incident to the one that befell Jenson Button and his wife Jessica at a villa in St Tropez.

Tony was on holiday near Marseilles in the South of France in May, when thieves struck and inserted gas through the air-vents of his van while he slept.

They knocked him out for 12 hours and robbed him of cash, his credit cards and his clothes.

The next morning he called the police, who informed him that his physical appearance indicated that he had been gassed.

"I was very thirsty, disorientated and my lips were badly swollen.

"The police were quite blazé really, but they knew by the look of me that I had been gassed," he told RTE's Liveline.

Tony has experienced ongoing medical problems since the incident and he will return to hospital next week for further tests.

Read More: Jenson Button and wife gassed unconscious by raiders in holiday burglary

Since the robbery, he has suffered asthma-like symptoms and he frequently finds it difficult to breathe.

He said that while local police told him that such occurrences are rare, he has since learned that thieves can strike up to 40 times per night.

"It really is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed," he said.

Tony believes that holiday makers are not safe in France as campsites are being targeted.

"The gangs have kits that enable them to break into the car and gas you while you are having a quick nap.

"It's a very sinister operation, people need to be vigilant," he said.

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