Christine Smith shares her name and birthdate with an alleged robber in the United States.
Christine Smith shares her name and birthdate with an alleged robber in the United States. Robyne Cuerel

M'boro grandmother mistaken for wanted criminal in US

A MARYBOROUGH grandmother's good sense of humour was tried on a recent cruise to the United States when she was mistaken for a wanted criminal.

Docking at Brooklyn, Christine Smith said she was routinely finger printed on arrival.

"Just the same as everyone else but when I went to have my passport processed, I was told I couldn't go through and would have to go to the immigration office.

"Apparently, I have the same name and birth date as a known wanted criminal."

She said it didn't take long for the officers to realise she was not the Christine Smith the New York Police Department was looking for and they let her go on her way.

However, when returning from Canada into the US, the 64 year old was stopped and asked to step aside.

"Alarms bells were going off and I didn't take much notice but other passengers did. Officers were saying 'Are you alright Jack'. 'Yeah I'm okay ...You'?"

The Quotarian of 25 years didn't realise the alert was for her and she was about to be swooped on, again.

"I was wondering why it happened again," she said.

"I thought my passport number would have been taken down the first time."

Christine said the officers escorted her into a back room.

"Usually I would crack a joke, but there was no grin on the faces of these men."

One of the officers asked her if this had happened to her before and she told them, "yes, five days ago".

A NYPD Daily Blotter story, on April 21, 2013 reported that a Christine Smith faced charges of robbery and criminal possession of a weapon.

And of the millions Smiths in the world, Christine Smith of Maryborough, Queensland, Australia, just happened to have the same name and date of birth as the American criminal.

"It hasn't put me off going back to America. It was obvious a system needed to be followed and that was fine by me," she said.