A Durham Regional Police officer faces charges after allegedly keeping a weapon turned over by a citizen.

Durham police said the 29-year-old officer from its Central East Division has been charged with theft and breach of trust.

The charges follow a recent review by the RCMP who identified an Oshawa man with an expired firearms license. On further investigation it was revealed that the male had died five years earlier.

At that time, the family contacted the police to turn over a shotgun and a quantity of ammunition. Authorities say the officer seized the gun to dispose of the shotgun and ammunition, but instead allegedly kept the weapon.

Const. Lee Douglas, an eight-year veteran of the force has been suspended pending the outcome of the case.