Thousands of pounds of rare paving slabs have been stolen from historic Rochester.
The Yorkstone slabs, worth more than £7,000, were reported to have been dug up at the junction of St Margaret's Street and Boley Hill.
It is believed stolen highways barriers might have been set up to make it look as if legitimate work was being carried out on the 430 square feet (40 square meters) of paving.
Medway Council and Kent Police are now appealing for witnesses who may have seen anything on Friday night to come forward.
The council has temporarily closed the footpath and is seeking to get matching Yorkstone to replace the stolen slabs.
Cllr Phil Filmer, portfolio holder for frontline services, said: "It could be very difficult for the council to replace the missing slabs with matching Yorkstone as it is difficult to get hold of."
He added: "I would ask any resident who may have seen what was going on to contact the police as soon as possible."
The part of St Margaret's Street where the theft happened lies within Rochester's conservation area, where any changes to the road or buildings have to be carefully handled.
It is in the historic heart of civic Rochester and next to the famous cathedral and castle.
PC Richard Strable said: ''This level of damage is unfortunate.
"We are still in the very early stages of the investigation and I would welcome anybody coming forward with information, no matter how insignificant it may seem."
Anyone who saw any suspicious activity is asked to phone PC Richard Strable on 07980 770496, quoting reference 26-0446, or Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
A 35-year-old man from Chatham has been arrested on suspicion of theft and bailed until January 14.