After Steven Edward Crider, 54, of Lilac Road in the township, was charged by state police last week, York County District Attorney Stan Rebert said he'd asked the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office to take over the prosecution due to a "potential conflict of interest."
Nils Fredericksen, deputy press secretary for the state attorney general, said his office has accepted the case.
"We deal with referrals from district attorneys all the time," he said. "Probably the single most common reason for a district attorney to refer a case to our office is that the matter involves a police officer in that county."
Crider's case has not yet been assigned to a prosecutor, but that's the next step, said Fredericksen.
More security: In the wake of Crider's arrest, West Manchester Township officials are looking to bolster rules regarding their police department's evidence room.
"We're going over the policies right now, looking at some additional security measures," township Manager Kelly Kelch said. "I think we had very adequate measures in place, but they can always be improved upon."
Crider, who remains free on $25,000 unsecured bail, had been on the police force about 32 years and was one of three officers with access to the evidence room, state police said.
Police allege Crider stole drugs -- primarily cocaine -- from his department's evidence room between November 2001 and April 8, 2009.
Crider accused of stealing drug evidence in more than 100 criminal cases, state police said, sometimes replacing the drugs with chalk.
He also allegedly tampered with official evidence records and state police crime lab records to cover up his thefts, police said.
He is charged with six counts of forgery, 100 counts of tampering with public records or information, 100 counts of theft, 27 counts of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, 21 counts of possession of a substance by an unauthorized person, and one count of possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia.
-- Reach Elizabeth Evans at email@example.com or 505-5429.