Chelmsford police say man left his own keys at crime scene

Man confronts suspect

Joel Nieves, 28, of Lowell, is wanted on charges of armed burglary.
Chelmsford Police
Joel Nieves, 28, of Lowell, is wanted on charges of armed burglary.

After allegedly robbing a home in Chelmsford, police say, a bungling burglar left behind a key to the crime.

Chelmsford police said Tuesday that they are seeking Joel Nieves, 28, of Lowell, whose apartment keys were found at the scene of the heist.

Nieves, wanted on charges of armed burglary, has an extensive criminal record that includes “a history of home invasion and breaking and entering,’’ police said in a statement.


Police officers responded to a house on Littleton Road June 28 after the resident arrived home to find a sliding glass door open.

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As the homeowner called 911, the burglar approached and threatened to kill the man, who fended off the assailant with a flashlight, police said.

The burglar fled the house, but officers discovered a backpack containing some of the resident’s property — and a set of keys that did not belong to the homeowner.

The keys were then matched to an apartment in Lowell by a local locksmith.

A woman in the apartment identified herself as the mother of Nieves’s child and said he occasionally stays at the apartment, police said.


Police have obtained a warrant for the arrest of Nieves.

Kiera Blessing can be reached at