Police Department

Posted on: March 9, 2017

Arrests in Connection to Home Invasion

Sivers and Burnell

“Police arrest suspects in connection to a home invasion on South Catherine Street” 


DATE OF RELEASE: March 9th, 2017

TIME OF RELEASE:  10:00 am

On February 21st, 2017 at approximately 3:15 AM, the Plattsburgh Police Department received a call from a resident on South Catherine Street in the City of Plattsburgh, reporting two unknown males inside his home. The males made entry into the home by circumventing the locking mechanism on a porch door.  The two males were wearing homemade masks to hide their faces and were in possession of paintball guns.

The males are now identified as:

Joseph A. Burnell Jr. 33, of Plattsburgh NY and Michael Sivers 25, of Champlain NY.

The guns were never displayed during the event. The home owner, an 81 year old male was alerted after hearing a noise and his family pet, and went to investigate. He found the two men in his bedroom rifling through his property, looking for money. Burnell confronted the home owner at which point he grabbed, shook and yelled at the victim requesting the location of the cash. Burnell and Siver left the residence with approximately $1,500.00 in cash. The home owner was not injured during the incident and contacted police right away.

This investigation was assisted by uniformed officers who developed information relating to the identities of the two men. Investigators used this information to identify Sivers and Burnell, who were arrested on March 8th, 2017.

The following are a list of charges pending against the individuals:


Robbery in the second degree, a class “C” Felony

Burglary in the second degree, a class “C” Felony 

Grand Larceny in the fourth degree, a class “E” Felony


Robbery in the second degree, a class “C” Felony

Burglary in the second degree, a class “C” Felony 

Grand Larceny in the fourth degree, a class “E” Felony

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 7th degree, a class “A” Misd.

Resisting arrest, a class “A” Misd

Escape in the 2nd degree, a class “E” felony

Burnell is charged with CPCS 7th for having a narcotic substance on his person at the time of arrest. The Resisting Arrest charge stems from Burnell attempted to flee from officers when they attempted to place him in custody. The Escape charge stems from Burnell breaking free from officers in the police station parking lot prior to entering the building and attempting to flee from custody. Burnell was apprehended a short distance later and returned to the police station.

The investigation into this matter has revealed the motivation behind this incident is directly related to the opioid epidemic in our area.

Both men appeared in Plattsburgh City Court for arrangement this morning at 9:30 am.


Authorized by: 

Captain  Michael Branch

Phone: 563-3411

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