A commanding officer with the B.C. RCMP has been arrested and charged with theft after he allegedly stole and used cocaine from police exhibits.

Staff Sgt. Stuart Seib, commander of the Merritt detachment, was arrested on Tuesday after a four-day investigation that ran through the weekend. Police allege that Seib stole from evidence on more than one occasion, and the thefts came to their attention after he disclosed them to fellow officer.

Seib has been suspended from duty and his access to police facilities has been revoked, Supt. Mike Sekela told reporters. Further charges are anticipated and Seib's superiors are recommending that his pay be suspended beginning Friday.

"I understand that news like this is very concerning. As the officer in charge of all of the detachments in the South East District, these actions do not meet my expectations or those of the public," Sekela said in a written statement.

"While the alleged actions of this member are extremely troubling, they are clearly not representative of the high moral and ethical standards of the vast majority of the members of the RCMP."

Seib had only been with the Merritt detachment since November after a posting in Clearwater, and police say they are now looking into his activities during previous placements.

Sekela said that senior officers have met with community leaders in Merritt to inform them of the situation. An internal code of conduct investigation is also underway.