Two Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority workers have been accused of stealing thousands of dollars in coins from stations throughout the D.C. region, federal authorities announced Thursday.

Horace D. McDade, 58, of Bowie, who worked as a revenue technician, and John V. Haile, 54, of Woodbridge, a transit police officer, were tasked with collecting fares and taking the money to Metro’s revenue collection facility in Alexandria, authorities said. Beginning in 2010, they stole thousands paid by riders, sometimes stashing bags of change under an overpass and collecting them after their shifts had ended, authorities alleged in court papers.

“Each night, the Metro put its trust — and its money — in the hands of these two defendants, and these men are accused of ripping off thousands of dollars from metro and local taxpayers,” Neil MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia said in a statement.

Haile used stolen money to buy Virginia lottery tickets — sometimes paid for with bags of change, federal authorities allege. Between October and December, he paid more than $28,000 in cash and coins to buy tickets, according to an affidavit filed by Kevin P. Gaddis, a captain with the Metro Transit Police Department.

Gaddis wrote in the affidavit that the FBI was first tipped off to the alleged scheme in September when they learned about a man in a police uniform who routinely purchased several hundred dollars worth of scratch-off lottery tickets from a Woodbridge store. A source later told agents that the officer had been coming for about three years, at first carrying coins in his hands and later bringing bags containing about $500 in change. That source reported that Haile spent $13,050 in October, $7,780 in November and $7,350 in December, according to the affidavit.

Records from the Virginia lottery show Haile won $32,000 last year, $17,000 in 2010 and $8,400 in 2009, according to the affidavit. Gaddis wrote that lottery officials said Haile “must be buying an extraordinary amount of tickets to win with such regularity.”

McDade and Haile are charged with conspiring to commit theft from programs receiving federal funds. Both men are scheduled to appear Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Alexandria.

The men were arrested Wednesday night, officials said.