By Thomas Tracy

COPS PROBE 50-YEAR-OLD’S MURDER: Now that the medical examiner has declared his death a murder, cops are trying to track down the last moments of 50-year-old Nikolai Chernov before he was struck in the head and killed sometime last fall. Officials said that Chernov, a resident of the 3050 block of Cropsey Avenue, was found inside his home just before 3 p.m. on September 26, 2005, suffering from bruises to the torso. There appeared to be no foul play in the man’s death until last week, when the city’s medical examiner determined that Chernov died from “blunt trauma to the head.” Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward. Calls can be made to the 60th Precinct at (718) 946-3311. All calls will be kept confidential. *** CARVEL CAPER INVESTIGATED: Police are looking for the scarred thief who fired off a bullet at an area Carvel ice cream store during a botched robbery last week. Police said that the suspect, a 30-year-old 5’8” black male with a scar over part of his mouth entered the Carvel, located at 3594 Nostrand Avenue at 8 p.m. on January 22, pulled a gun and demanded the money from the register. To prove that he meant business, the suspect fired a shot into the counter, officials said. In a display of what some might categorize as defiance, an employee shut the register, locked it and then broke the key off, making it impossible to open. The suspect fled the scene without harming anyone. Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward. Calls can be made to the 61st Precinct at (718) 627-6611. All calls will be kept confidential. *** LUNCHEONETTE LOOTING: A masked gunman made off with $900 in cash and Lotto receipts after a daring robbery at the T-L Luncheonette at 2024 Cropsey Avenue. An employee told police that the suspect entered the restaurant at 11:45 p.m. on January 30, pulling the security gate closed behind him. The thief then pulled a gun and demanded that the employee hit the floor. Police said the thug reportedly kicked the employee while he was on the ground as he raided the register and lottery machine. The employee, officials said, was not seriously harmed. Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward. Calls can be made to the 62nd Precinct at (718) 236-2611. All calls will be kept confidential. *** 15-YEAR-OLD BUSTED IN STOLEN CAR: A 15-year-old was found running from a car stolen from a Manhattan Beach home last week. Police said that the teen was seen running from the car, a $35,000 2005 Acura MDX, after an accident in Plumb Beach – nearly sixteen hours after the car had been taken from the driveway of a Coleridge Street resident. The victim, 30, claimed that he had parked his car in the driveway at 10:30 p.m. on January 26. At 6:30 a.m. the next morning, he discovered that his luxury car had been boosted. Cops were searching for the car until 4:15 p.m. that afternoon, when the car was involved in an accident on Plumb 1st Street. Witnesses said that a teen got out of the car and ran to a nearby home, where he was later found and arrested. The teen, who was charged with criminal possession of stolen property and leaving the scene of a car accident, claimed that he was the passenger in the car during the accident. As of this writing, the would-be driver had not been apprehended. No injuries were reported. *** NOT SO FRIENDLY FRIENDS: A 19-year-old told police that he was set up and then beaten outside of an address on the 2800 block of Coyle Street. The teen said that he was asked to show up outside of the address at 9:30 p.m. on January 23 by a would-be friend. When he arrived, he found himself by a group of six males who attacked him. During the beating, one of the suspects struck the victim in the face with a bottle, officials said. Police are investigating. ***

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