He is a bank robber and a jewel thief. Damn it!
Is there someone in your family whose star shines so much brighter than your own? Who steals the air from the reunion when they walk in? Who throws everything you’ve tried to accomplish in your life into sharp relief?
There is someone in mine. My slightly older cousin and his name is Dan Courson.
I used to mock him and call him Nurse Dan because he went to school and got a nursing degree but the joke was really on me because you want to know what Nurse Dan did next?
He robbed 21 banks in Orange and San Diego counties.
That might be more banks than I have ever even been inside. 21 banks and then he got caught but tried to escape by faking appendicitis but then got tackled in the parking lot by what he said was a San Diego State track star. I found it somewhat hard to believe that a San Diego State track star was working as a hospital jail guard but Matt Warshaw once told me the only reason anyone goes to San Diego State is to drink beer and surf so maybe.
I visited him in the hoosegow once and drank coffee with him a few times after he did his eight years. It always seemed like a bargain to me, by the way. Eight years for 21 banks plus an attempted escape.
He seemed down on his possibilities in the world but I told him to chin up. He was a bank robber and I was a surf journalist. His possibilities smoked mine. He nodded while looking into the distance and gave me a half-hearted, “Yeah.”
And then he became an art and jewel thief. A bank robber. An art thief. A jewel thief. It was like all my favorite Pierce Brosnan characters got rolled into one.
And then he got written about in a Mormon newspaper. Let’s read the Deseret News together.
Police say a “highly intelligent” Park City con man befriended a fine-art aficionado with a severe illness, then waited until the ailing collector stepped out one day and robbed his Southern California home of about $1 million in jewelry, checkbooks, cash and top-dollar paintings.
The June 2015 heist hit a snag.
The homeowner returned before Daniel David Courson could finish loading the haul, including “large amounts of cash,” in a stolen silver Tacoma, authorities said. Courson fled before police arrived.
Now, Park City officers say Courson is living in their upscale Utah mountain town. On Monday, they believed they were about to nab the suspect who is in his early 40s, but someone tipped Courson off beforehand and he eluded them.
“He is highly intelligent and able to reinvent himself in new towns wherever he goes,” Tustin police said in a Tuesday prepared statement.
Wait. Did Pierce Brosnan ever steal from anyone with a severe illness? Is Surf Journalist Chas cooler than Nurse Dan again?
Please say yes.