Thieves posing as workmen stole 72ft of historic PAVEMENT by setting up phoney barriers and roadworks signs to make it look like they were supposed to be doing it
- Suspects used stolen barriers to cordon off stretch of pavement
- Valuable Yorkshire stones taken from historic Rochester, Kent
- Man has been arrested and released on bail over alleged theft
Police are hunting thieves who stole a stretch of historic pavement worth thousands of pounds after setting up fake roadworks.
Posing as workmen, the suspects pulled off the brazen theft by using stolen barriers and roadworks signs to cordon off a large area of paving, before taking the 72ft stretch of Yorkshire stone slabs.
Police said the stones, which were taken from the historic centre of Rochester, Kent, were worth at least £7,000.
Missing: Thieves set up fake roadworks in order to steal historic paving stones worth £7,000 in Rochester, Kent
Medway councillor Phil Filmer said: 'This appears to be a brazen operation to make it
'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.
'I would ask any resident who may have seen what was going on to contact the police as soon as possible.'
The slabs were removed from St Margaret’s Street, which runs into the historic heart of Rochester, next to the famous cathedral and castle.
Before: How St Margaret's Street appeared before the thieves stole the paving slabs
After: Barriers and roadsigns have been put up along the historic walkway, hiding the stolen paving slabs
The yellow sandstone blocks, which traditionally come from Yorkshire, are highly sought after for their durability and colour, and have been used in construction for centuries.
A 35-year-old man from Chatham was arrested on suspicion of theft, and released on bail until January.
Medway Council and Kent Police have appealed for witnesses who may have seen anything suspicious when the stones were removed on Friday, November 22.
It was not known how long the thieves had been working at the site.
Appeal: Medway Council and Kent Police have asked witnesses who may have seen anything suspicious to come forward
Locals took to Twitter to express shock and bemusement at the outrageous theft.
Petitia Wiles tweeted: 'Can you believe it? Someone has stolen the pavement in Rochester, £7000 York slabs gone and no one saw anything.'
A council spokesperson said: 'Although police have arrested one person in relation to the theft, they have yet to recover any of the paving slabs.
'We are hopeful they will recover them and we will be able to put them back in place, without having to spend taxpayers’ money on new ones.'
Valued: The yellow sandstone blocks, which traditionally come from Yorkshire, are highly sought after for their durability and colour
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