British tourists gassed and robbed in camper van on France holiday

Ruth Doherty
British couple gassed and robbed in camper van on holiday in France
British couple gassed and robbed in camper van on holiday in France

A British couple have told how they were gassed in their camper van before being robbed on holiday in France.

Debbie Keeney, 54, and partner Bob John, 68, were on a month-long driving holiday and had stopped for the night near a service station in Lancon de Provence in the South of France.

They had £500 in cash, bank cards, jewellery and their passports stolen.

Speaking to The Sun, Debbie said: "We went to bed about midnight and woke up about 5.30am with sore throats and headaches."

Police believe the incident was the work of Eastern Europeans who regularly target tourists in the area.

A spokesman said: "They release a knockout gas through van air vents or windows - and can then rob the vehicle without anyone knowing. It's been blighting this area for years."

In fact, a British couple from Hampshire suffered a similar experience just last October.

Mervyn Bryant and his wife Kirsty were on holiday in their camper van in the South of France when they too were gassed and robbed.

They had stopped at a service station around 12 miles north of Avignon, and were left stranded in France for two weeks after losing their passports, money and motor home keys.

Speaking to the Gazette & Herald, Mr Bryant said: "Amazingly I didn't know anything had been taken until I started moving around the motor home.

"It was only when we spoke to other campers that we were told about crooks moving around the South of France and gassing people while they sleep before they take their things."

Indeed, all the way back in 2007, the Daily Telegraph reported that the Foreign Office issued a warning to tourists in France about 'Riviera gas robbers'.

It suggested only staying on official campsites and avoiding parking overnight at roadside rest areas.

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