Mario's warning after four raiders ransacked home as he watched TV
Mario Rosenstock has told of his shock after raiders ransacked his home while he and his family were watching TV downstairs.
Speaking for the first time about the incident, the Today FM broadcaster and Gift Grub impersonator said he was left shaken after his south Dublin home was burgled earlier this year by a four-strong gang of thieves.
Burglaries often soar around Christmas and Mario has now issued a warning for homeowners to be extra vigilant.
"They took everything. The gardai reckon they were probably in and out in about six to eight minutes," he said.
"It does feel like a personal violation. Your family home is the one place you go to get away from everything and when that's violated, you really feel really bad."
Rosenstock and his family were left devastated after the burglary, with one family member spotting one of the raiders as they fled the scene.
He believes the thieves spent some time observing the house before the incident, which happened at approximately 8.15pm.
Investigators believe the gang had a van at the laneway at the back of the property and used a ladder to access the upstairs of the house while a third accomplice kept watch.
It's understood the thieves only ransacked the top of the house and did not go downstairs at any point.
Mario and his family were watching TV downstairs the entire time while the thieves ransacked their bedrooms, stealing a number of items of jewellery, including some priceless sentimental heirlooms.
He said their home insurance covered the cost of the burglary but his family were badly impacted by the robbery.
They were left devastated in the wake of the break-in, especially given that they were all at home at the time.
The famous funnyman, whose Gift Grub 2020 tour starts in Cork on February 25, has now issued a warning to homeowners to be careful, particularly over Christmas when burglaries often increase.
He said people should have their alarms on, even when they're at home, in a bid to deter similar incidents.
"This is the new thing apparently, where break-ins are happening when people are in the house because you tend not to have the alarm on and your guard is down.
"So people should have their alarms on the whole time, even when they're there.''
Gardai in Cabinteely Garda Station launched an investigation but no arrests have been made so far.
When contacted about the incident, a garda spokesperson said they do not comment on individual cases.
About half of all burglaries happen while people are in their homes and Dublin is the county with the most break-ins over the past decade.
The capital accounted for 41pc of all burglaries in the country over the past decade, according to home-monitoring company PhoneWatch.
The firm says that the most common time for a burglary is between 5-11pm and people should remember to lock all their doors while they are at home.
Fresh warnings have been issued by gardai in the run-up to the Christmas and New Year periods.
Fake presents should be put under the tree in the run-up to Christmas Eve, especially in place of electronic devices that can be sold quickly.
Garda research has shown that cash and jewellery are the most common objects stolen from homes, followed by computers, phones, TVs and game consoles.
Homeowners should also make sure that they secure all windows and doors if going out and also leave their lights on.