The suspect approached the victim to ask him if he wanted to buy a pair of shoes in a carrier bag. When he declined, he took a card holder and removed a bank card before making off in the direction of B&M Bargains.
The unknown man is described as white, about 20-years-old, 5ft 10ins tall, short black hair and wearing a blue hooded zip-up top. The card was used to top up a pay-as-you-go mobile phone shortly after being taken.
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Witnesses should call Durham Police on 101.