Nassau police say 98% of automobile thefts in the county occurred...

Nassau police say 98% of automobile thefts in the county occurred because the vehicle owner left the key or fob in the car. Shown is the Cold Spring Harbor LIRR station parking lot on Nov. 27, 2018. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Southampton Town Police arrested a man who got into a physical struggle with a Hampton Bays resident early Thursday after the man illegally entered the resident’s home through an unlocked door around 2:30 a.m., officials said.

Antonio Rojas-Leon was arrested at the home and taken to police headquarters, where he became belligerent while being questioned by detectives and tried to head-butt the officers, police said. Rojas-Leon, 20, of Hampton Bays, was charged with second-degree burglary and second-degree obstruction of governmental administration.

The moral of the story?

"The Southampton Town Police Department wants to remind the community that it is important to lock your doors," the department said in a statement. "Don’t let a Grinch ruin your holiday season and remember there are people who want what you have."

Common-sense precautions, according to authorities, can prevent burglars, car thieves and other criminals from spoiling holiday cheer.

Suffolk police, for example, urge homeowners to install deadbolt locks on their doors and to place sticks in the tracks of sliding doors to prevent intruders from entering the home. The department also said homeowners should make sure all outdoor lighting is working and recommend using sensor lights that will turn on when someone enters the yard.

Nassau police, meanwhile, say 98% of automobile thefts in the county occurred because the vehicle owner left the key or fob in the car.

"Residents should be aware that criminals canvass the neighborhoods," Nassau police Commissioner Patrick Ryder wrote in a letter to community leaders earlier this year. "They are walking from house to house checking to see if vehicles are left open. Once the criminal is inside your vehicle, they steal what they can. If the fob is present, they will steal the vehicle."

It is equally important for motorists not to leave their cars running in the parking lot of a business or store, officials said, even if they are just popping in for coffee or their copy of Newsday. A 69-year-old Amityville man, Dionel Ramirez, was killed in November 2014 after he tried to stop a man from stealing his Hyundai sedan, which he had left running in the parking lot of a North Bay Shore 7-Eleven.

Ramirez, Suffolk prosecutors said, tried to block the thief by standing in front of the car. The suspect didn’t stop — instead, he hit the gas pedal and ran down Ramirez, according to officials. The car thief, Edwin Gutierrez of Manhattan, was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder.

"You killed a good man," state Supreme Court Justice William Condon told Gutierrez when he sentenced him to 25-years-to-life in prison in 2016.

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Trump trial deliberations ... Rangers Game 5 tonight ... Firework tossed into Elmont 7-Eleven ... Family loves cricket

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