A family of six got the shock of their lifetime when a twisted gang of robbers pumped deadly exhaust fumes into their campervan. Once the Chadwick family were unconscious, the thieves broke into their vehicle and made off with £2,000 worth of their belongings.
And what is perhaps more shocking is that his is the second time this Summer that the bold crooks have pulled this stunt. Medics tending to the six members of the Chadwick family explained to them how dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning can be, causing confusion, disorientation and seizures; if enough carbon monoxide is taken into the body it can be fatal.
The Chadwicks were on their way home from Spain and had stopped to spend the night outside a service station in Bourges in France. following the nighttime raid near Bourges. Linda Chadwick, who is from Derby, said that she recalls seeing a car’s headlights at approximately 4.40am, but that is the last thing she remembers:
“We all woke up at around about the same time, at 6am, with terrible headaches and really sore throats. We were all in shock. It was so awful. My brother, who was on the bottom bunk, said ‘Where’s the suitcase?’ We realised we had been robbed. The police told us they wait for you to get into the camper van at night. Then they run a tube from their exhaust underneath the van where there are vents and the fumes get through there.”
Stolen from the Chadwick party were luggage, mobile phones, jewellery and cash; the total haul amounted to nearly £1,900. As well as losing their possessions, the woeful holidaymakers needed hospital treatment. Mrs Chadwick said: “We were put into rooms where we were given oxygen and our blood samples were taken. We were in there nearly all of the day. The person taking the blood said it could have killed us. It was horrendous. They said it could also lead to memory loss, flashbacks.”
Police in Bourges are investigating this robbery as well as reports of Eastern European criminal gangs preying on holidaymakers in this way.