A Manitoba RCMP officer has been charged after an investigation by the province's police watchdog into allegations that he left his service pistol behind in a hotel room after checking out.

The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba, which investigates any serious incident involving Manitoba police officers, opened an investigation into the allegation of careless storage of a firearm by the on-duty officer in August. 

There were no injuries or other incidents as a result of the storage of the gun, the investigation unit said at the time. 

Zane Tessler, the unit's civilian director, found reasonable grounds to believe a criminal offence occurred, a news release said on Monday. 

The officer was told of the charge last week and he will appear in court in February. 

It's not the first time there has been an investigation into a Mountie's gun and its storage.

An RCMP officer's gun was stolen and later used in the 2015 shooting of a Winnipeg teenager, but he was not charged. 

The gun was taken from the off-duty officer's cruiser, which was parked at his home, after his keys were stolen from his house while he slept. The gun had been locked securely in the cruiser, RCMP said at the time.

In that case, the Winnipeg Police Service Major Crimes Unit investigated the circumstances surrounding the firearm theft and shooting, and the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba monitored the investigation. Manitoba Justice reviewed the case and in 2016 found criminal charges were not supported. 

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