Det Sgt Peter Yeates is accused of taking the goods which are believed to be expensive mobile phones from an internal police store.
The items held at the station include valuable possessions such as jewellery and money seized by officers during raids, confiscated stolen goods or lost property handed in by the public.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has confirmed it is supervising the investigation being carried out by Dorset Police
The officer Peter Yeates, who works for a major crime unit that deals with the most serious cases including high-profile murders and organised crime, is accused of selling phones to unsuspecting customers on the internet auction site eBay.
Yeates, who is known by some officers as ‘Posh Pete’ and ‘Yuppie Yeates’ for his well-spoken accent attained while growing up in colonial Rhodesia and grammar school in England, was due to retire from the force in just three weeks.
But the 50-year-old detective is currently suspended after being arrested last week and questioned about the theft of missing property.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission confirmed it is supervising the investigation that is being carried out by Dorset Police.
A source said: ‘It’s been all around the stations that he’s been arrested for allegedly stealing phones from the store and selling them on eBay.
‘He’s a detective on the major crime unit and ironically has even been investigating fellow officers who are suspected of committing fraud.
‘Peter Yeates was due to retire in a few weeks.
‘He’s called Yuppie Yeates and Posh Pete because of his plummy accent, smart suits and the way he talks about going to Bishop Wordsworth’s School in Sailsbury. I’m sure he’s really upset about this happening especially as he is so close to retiring.’
Yeates, who lives in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, has a 13-year-old son and spends his weekends coaching his local junior rugby team.
He wrote on his Facebook account: ‘I have a 13 year old son for whom I will do anything. At the moment I am concentrating a lot of my efforts to try and get him into the senior school of his choice.
‘In addition I have been the lead coach in his club rugby, Wimborne and have taken the team to become one of the strongest in his age group in the area.’
There are strict rules about how long police can hold property that has been seized or handed in by the public after being found. If it is not claimed within a certain time period then it can be sold at auction by individual forces with the money being given to charities or to fund community policing.
Dorset Police refused to deny or confirm Peter Yeates arrest despite giving the age, address and reason for arrest to the press for nearly all members of the public detained by the force. A spokesman said:
‘Unfortunately we do not confirm the identity of anyone who may or may not be subject to a police investigation.
‘Also, we do not comment on internal staffing matters.’
An IPCC spokesman said it was aware of the arrest of a Dorset officer for alleged theft and had decided to take a supervising role while the force carried out its investigation.
Mr Yeates said: ‘I’m terribly sorry, I’m not making any comment.’