Paving stones worth more than £7,000 have been dug up by thieves thought to have pretended to be workmen.
The 40 sq m of Yorkstone slabs were taken from Rochester's historic centre on Friday night.
Medway Council said stolen highways barriers could have been set up to make it look as if legitimate work was being carried out.
A 35-year-old man from Chatham has been arrested on suspicion of theft and released on bail until 14 January.
A council spokeswoman said the paving was dug up at the junction of St Margaret's Street and Boley Hill, next to Rochester Cathedral and castle.
The authority is now looking for matching Yorkstone to replace the stolen slabs.
Councillor Phil Filmer said: "This appears to be a brazen operation to make it look genuine. It would have taken time and effort to set up and work in this way.
"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 asked anyone who may have seen what was happening to contact the police.