Cops: Home Invasion Suspect Left His Keys at Scene

July 22--Chelmsford police have issued a warrant for a Lowell man who allegedly left his apartment keys at the scene of a frightening home invasion last month.

Calling him "a career criminal with an extensive record," police said this morning they are looking to question Joel Nieves, 28, and arrest him on charges of armed burglary.

Nieves is suspected of breaking into a home on Littleton Road June 28, where the owner had been out of state all day. When he returned and found his sliding glass door open, he called 911. Nieves appeared and threatened to kill him, police said, until the resident swung a flashight at him and scared him off.

At the time of the confrontation, investigators believe, Nieves had already left the property, but came back in an unsuccessful attempt to retrieve his backpack. Inside the backpack, police said they found what appeared to be stolen baseball cards, an iPad, a digital camera, a high school class ring with the resident's name on it, and a signed Nomar Garciaparra baseball.

Police also found a set of keys in the backpack. A local locksmith determined that some of the keys belonged to an apartment complex in Lowell where police said Nieves occasionally stays with the mother of his child.

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