In a story with “local news oddity” written all over it, a former Oklahoma resident now residing in Texas recently discovered that she had been charged with a felony more than two decades ago over her failure to return a rented VHS tape. According to Oklahoma City’s Fox 25, Caron McBride became a wanted woman for the fact that a tape of Sabrina the Teenage Witch was rented in 1999 and never returned.
For more than two decades, McBride was completely unaware of the charges, although she told the TV station that she had been let go from several jobs over the years without having been given a reason why. Now, she believes it was due to the “felony embezzlement” charges she never knew existed.
McBride only discovered the charges while trying to change her name on her driver’s license after getting married in Texas. In the process of filling out paperwork, she was informed that she was apparently a wanted woman in her former home of Oklahoma.
“I went to change my driver’s license, during this COVID thing you had to make an appointment, and so, I sent them an email (and) they sent me an email and they told me… that I had an issue in Oklahoma and this was the reference number for me to call this number and I did,” said McBride to Fox 25. “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.”
Online records indicated that McBride had been charged with “felony embezzlement of rented property” back in March of 2000 in response to the unreturned copy of Sabrina—presumably a tape of the 1990s TV series starring Melissa Joan Hart. The tape had been rented from a business called “Movie Place” in the city of Norman, Oklahoma, which has been out of business since 2008. McBride, meanwhile, said she had no memory of ever renting or watching that tape, but theorized that a former boyfriend or roommate may have been responsible.
“I had lived with a young man, this was over 20 years ago,” she said to Fox 25. “He had two kids, daughters that were 8, 10 or 11 years old, and I’m thinking he went and got it and didn’t take it back or something. I have never watched that show in my entire life, just not my cup of tea. Meanwhile, I’m a wanted felon for a VHS tape. I mean, I didn’t try to deceive anyone over Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I swear.”
Even though the place of business has been closed for at least 13 years at this point, the charges were technically still active, and visible as part of McBride’s criminal record, but this may not be the case for much longer. Reached for comment by Fox 25, the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office said they would dismiss the charges against McBride, although she’ll still have to move to get her case expunged in order to clear her record. Still, after 21 years of technically being a wanted felon, that probably doesn’t seem like the biggest inconvenience for McBride at this point.
Meanwhile, if you have any old Blockbuster tapes hanging around your house, you might want to verify that you’re not currently wanted for criminal embezzlement.