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F1 driver Button says he was burgled in French Riviera villa _ perhaps after being gassed

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 file photo McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button of Britain walks with Jessica Michibata down the F1 paddock as he arrives at the Korean International Circuit ahead of the Korean Formula One Grand Prix in Yeongam, South Korea. Burglars have ransacked the rented French Riviera villa of Formula One driver Jenson Button and his wife,  Jessica — possibly after pumping anaesthetic gas through air-conditioning vents. (AP Photo/Jin-man, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 file photo McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button of Britain walks with Jessica Michibata down the F1 paddock as he arrives at the Korean International Circuit ahead of the Korean Formula One Grand Prix in Yeongam, South Korea. Burglars have ransacked the rented French Riviera villa of Formula One driver Jenson Button and his wife, Jessica — possibly after pumping anaesthetic gas through air-conditioning vents. (AP Photo/Jin-man, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 file photo McLaren driver Jenson Button of Britain, left, and Jessica Michibata walk down the F1 paddock at the Suzuka circuit, ahead of Sunday's Japanese Formula One Grand Prix, in Suzuka, Japan. Burglars have ransacked the rented French Riviera villa of Formula One driver Jenson Button and his wife,  Jessica — possibly after pumping anaesthetic gas through air-conditioning vents. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 file photo McLaren driver Jenson Button of Britain, left, and Jessica Michibata walk down the F1 paddock at the Suzuka circuit, ahead of Sunday's Japanese Formula One Grand Prix, in Suzuka, Japan. Burglars have ransacked the rented French Riviera villa of Formula One driver Jenson Button and his wife, Jessica — possibly after pumping anaesthetic gas through air-conditioning vents. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)  (The Associated Press)

Burglars have ransacked the rented French Riviera villa of Formula One driver Jenson Button and his wife, Jessica — possibly after pumping anaesthetic gas through air-conditioning vents.

Button and his wife were on vacation with friends in St. Tropez on Monday when thieves broke in as they slept, making off with jewelry. Among the items stolen was Jessica Button's engagement ring.

Button's representatives said in a statement Friday that police have told them such thefts have become a growing problem, with thieves pumping in the gas to give them free rein in the properties.

No one was hurt, but the statement said the couple were "unsurprisingly shaken" by events.

The 35-year-old former world champion, who drives for McLaren Honda, married his model wife in Hawaii in December.