While it is probably true now that there are a lot of young people floating about the world who don't even know what a VHS tape is, many of us semi-aged individuals have both fond and not so fond memories of heading into stores like Blockbuster or Hollywood Video to rent copies of TV shows or movies. It was always nice to be able to watch something new, or to revisit something beloved, but no one enjoyed paying late fees when we forgot to take a video back by the due date, which always happened eventually. Unfortunately, one Sabrina the Teenage Witch fan's unreturned tape led to a whopping 21-year-old arrest warrant.
It was not uncommon for a person to rent a video, or several at once, and then forget to return it at all, coming upon said item only years later when spring cleaning or packing up to move. That would generally be a good laugh for most of us, but according to KOKH Fox 25 in Oklahoma City, that was not quite the case for Texas resident Caron McBride.
After getting married recently and trying to change her name on her driver's license, McBride was met with the realization that she had been charged with felony embezzlement of rented property over a never-returned copy of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and a warrant was issued for her arrest by the state of Oklahoma in March 2000.
Court documents noted that Caron McBride rented a copy of Sabrina the Teenage Witch from Movie Place, a video store in Norman, Oklahoma, in 1999, and (obviously) failed to return it. As noted by prosecutors in the now-vintage charging document, McBride "willfully, unlawfully and feloniously embezzle a certain One (1) Videocassette Tape, Sabrina the Teenage Witch of the value of $58.59." The video store where the tape was rented closed in 2008.
This probably seems like a relatively funny story to a lot of people, but because this was an open case it's been on Caron McBride's permanent record all this time, and you can likely imagine that it was no laughing matter for her. As she noted, after sending an email to make an appointment to change her name, the DMV replied by telling her they found an issue in Oklahoma, gave her a reference number and told her to call the state's Cleveland County District Attorney's Office. According to McBride, when she did, the woman on the phone revealed the long-standing legal problem:
The first thing she told me was felony embezzlement, so, I thought I was gonna have a heart attack. She told me it was over the VHS tape and I had to make her repeat it because I thought, this is insane. This girl is kidding me, right? She wasn't kidding.
To make matters worse, even though the business closed its doors over a decade ago, the DA's office could still decide to prosecute her for the crime, because of both official charges being filed and there being a warrant issued for her arrest. Luckily for McBride (who said she's never seen Sabrina the Teenage Witch and the video was likely rented by an ex for his daughters to watch), prosecutors recently decided to dismiss her case after reviewing it.
McBride now believes that the charges have had an effect on her life since being filed, but without her even knowing it. She said that she's been let go from several jobs without being given a reason, but that now she realizes:
This is why... because when they ran my criminal background check, all they're seeing is those two words: felony embezzlement.
Caron McBride will have to have the case officially expunged in order to completely clear this off of her record, and considering how much trouble she seems to have gone through over it, she'll probably be taking care of that as soon as possible.