Piers Morgan and wife Celia Walden were burgled as they slept by thieves who invaded their bedroom at a luxury French villa.
Celia, 44, hit out at the ‘depraved and despicable’ culprits who targeted their holiday home in Côte d’Azur on Thursday – the last day of the family’s holiday.
She said the burglars managed to get within inches of her and 55-year-old Piers as they slept, taking a handbag from beside her bed which they raided for cash.
The thieves also took handfuls of jewellery from a box which they dumped in the living room, fleeing as they heard the couple’s 6am alarm sounding.
Shocked: Piers Morgan and wife Celia Walden were burgled as they slept by thieves who invaded their bedroom at a luxury French villa (pictured together in February)
Intrusion: Celia, 44, hit out at the ‘depraved and despicable’ culprits who targeted their holiday home (pictured) in Côte d’Azur on Thursday – the last day of the family’s holiday
Celia said she snoozed the alarm until 6.15am when she got up and discovered what had happened, missing the thieves by just 15 minutes.
‘Knowing how much worse things could have been had we woken to find intruders in our bedroom put things into perspective when it came to working out what had been taken,’ she wrote in the Daily Telegraph.
‘They’d stolen all the cash they could find, right down to the few pounds I hadn’t spent at Heathrow on the way out, but left the credit cards, along with my driver’s licence.
Security: The journalist, who has been married to Piers, 55, for ten years, said she woke up to discover the room (pictured before the break in) was in complete disarray
‘I felt a stomach-plummeting sense of violation at the actions of these depraved and despicable inhuman beings.’
It is thought the thieves used a drone to scope out the property before the raid, with police revealing to the couple that it is now a common tactic.
Celia said husband Piers, who she has been married to for ten years, had spotted one hovering over their garden a week earlier.
Police also revealed to the couple that thieves no longer target cards and technology – such as the couple’s laptops and phones – because they are too easy to trace.
Instead they target cash and jewellery, in the hopes of snatching high-end watches and diamonds.
Celia joked that the burglars would have left disappointed, after taking jewellery that had sentimental value to her – but little monetary value.
She said they got away with a ring that Piers gifted her on their fifth wedding anniversary, a vintage Pucci cuff she bought at an LA market, and some earrings she bought in Edgware Road with her first book advance.
Increase: Officers said that the summer season sees a sharp uptick in burglaries on the French Riviera as criminals target wealthy holiday makers (Piers pictured alongside sons Spencer and Stanley at the luxury villa)
Officers said that the summer season sees a sharp uptick in burglaries on the French Riviera as criminals target wealthy holiday makers.
Other celebrities who have been burgled previously in the area include Trinny Woodall, Patrick Viera and Richard Hammond.
In July 2016, Abbey Clancy revealed her terror at coming face-to-face with two burglars who broke into her plush pad in the south of France.
She had been at the villa with a friend at the time because her husband Peter Crouch was working as a Euro 2016 football pundit in Paris.
Abbey told The Mirror: ‘I had these two massive guys in my room, they were right there in front of me. But I screamed so much I scared them away.
Coming back: It comes after Piers joked he and his family were ‘quarantine dodgers’ as they cut the trip short to return to the UK on Thursday before France’s air bridge was removed
‘It was absolutely terrifying, it was one of the worst things to happen. It was so awful. Things like this happen to people all the time.
‘But when it actually happens to you, you can’t believe it.’
And in August 2015, Jenson Button and his then wife, Jessica were gassed as they slept during a raid on their French villa.
The pair were with friends in St Tropez when thieves broke in and stole valuables worth £300,000 including Mrs Button’s engagement ring, believed to be worth £250,000.
It was claimed the Formula One driver and his wife may have been knocked out by gas pumped into the house through air conditioning units.
They added that Button and his friends weren’t disturbed during the raid as the effects of the gas gave the burglars ‘free rein’.
Holiday: Piers made the most of his time on the French Riviera as he met up with famous faces including Amanda Holden (pictured) and Joan Collins
The Good Morning Britain presenter cut short his break to ensure he returned to the UK before the government implemented a new two-week quarantine rule.
He tweeted on Monday evening that he would be returning to Good Morning Britain on September 1.
And that evening, he shared a picture of himself drinking a pint at his favourite local, no doubt happy to be home.
Piers – who has kids Spencer, 27, Stanley, 23, Albert, 19, and Elise, eight – posted an image of himself and two of his sons on Instagram upon their return on Thursday.
Pals: The TV personality said that he had been to dinner at least three times with Joan during the St Tropez trip as he joked ‘she can’t get enough of me’
He captioned the picture: ‘Quarantine dodgers… #France #LeGreatEscape @spencermorgan93 @Bertie_Morgan11 (sic)’
Since Piers returned home, the government has confirmed plans to introduce a 14-day isolation requirement for people arriving from France.
France was added to the UK’s quarantine list on Thursday in a savage blow to tens of thousands of British holidaymakers, as ministers ordered travellers returning from the popular destination to isolate for 14 days.
The quarantine came in at 4am on Saturday.
John Keefe, the public affairs director at Channel Tunnel operator Getlink, warned that there is ‘very limited’ capacity on services throughout this month.
France recorded 2,669 new cases of coronavirus yesterday, up from 2,524 last Wednesday. It is a record figure for the nation since it came out of lockdown.
The review of the rules saw the Netherlands, Monaco and Malta added to the quarantine list – and Portugal remains on it, along with Spain.
The Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba in the Caribbean have also lost their places.
The move came after Boris Johnson said the UK would be ‘ruthless’ when it came to travel quarantine even with its ‘closest and dearest friends’.
Meanwhile, Piers recently announced plans to release a new book Wake Up, which is about the ‘war on free speech’
Piers – who has more than seven million Twitter followers – wrote on the platform: ‘BREAKING: I’m delighted to announce my new book: ‘WAKE UP – Why the “liberal” war on free speech is even more dangerous than Covid-19.’
‘Out on October 15th in hardback, ebook & audiobook read by me. (sic)’ The book is being published by Harper Collins, and is being billed as a ‘rallying cry’ for unity and ‘freedom of speech’.
Happy to be home: On Monday night, Piers Instagrammed a picture of himself drinking a pint at his fave local pub