An Assistant Chief Constable has been arrested at a Tesco Extra store in Colchester accused of stealing collectable football cards and batteries.
John Mauger, who is already on gardening leave following a legal row with Police Scotland, was interviewed in connection with the allegation and released on bail by Essex Police.
The 54-year-old was arrested on 15 March and is understood to be returning to a Colchester police station later today to discover if he is to be prosecuted.
The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) was given details of the allegation on 6 April and Mr Mauger was suspended.
A spokesman said: “Following receipt of information, the SPA has taken the decision to place a senior Police Scotland officer on suspension. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”
A spokesman for Essex Police said: “A 54-year-old man from Great Horkesley near Colchester was arrested at Tesco in Highwoods, Colchester, on suspicion of theft on March 15.
“He has been released on police bail pending further inquiries until the afternoon of Friday, April 22.”
Earlier this year, Mr Mauger lost a legal challenge over his security status, which was taken away after he borrowed £250,000 from a convicted criminal.
The officer, who earns £115,000 a year, lost his clearance to handle sensitive information after he was found to have taken a loan from Brian Rix, from Essex, who has convictions for firearms offences, fraud and assault.
He borrowed the money in 2013 for work on his home in Colchester and later repaid it. He claimed he only discovered about Rix’s past at a later stage.
Mr Mauger was cleared of misconduct in May 2014 after more than three years on paid leave following other allegations of insubordination and inefficiency were investigated.
He retured to work at the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan after the case against him fell apart. It cost the taxpayer around £1million.
The Court of Session, in January, rejected a challenge Mr Mauger brought against the Chief Constable over his security status and also refused a court order to stop the SPA from sacking him.
He had his security clearance approved in 2009, but it was refused by the new Police Scotland force in 2014.