Woman Charged With Felony Because She Didn't Return A VHS Tape 21 Years Ago

Remember back in the day when planning for your weekend involved a trip to the video store to wander the aisles, walking up and down each section carefully, looking at all the titles and picking out a few to watch with the family?

It was an experience, to be sure, but it's little wonder that video stores were replaced by streaming services. As much as we grew to love those neighborhood anchors, they just couldn't compete with the Netflixes of the world, and in no small part because you don't have to return movies you stream.

As it turns out, the late fees from forgetting to return your rented tapes could really add up!

One woman in Oklahoma now faces a felony charge over a tape she neglected to return 21 years ago.

Unsplash | JC Gellidon

And people think librarians are tough on late fees.

According to Fox 25, Caron McBride of Norman, Oklahoma only learned of the charge when she was trying to change her name on her driver's license after getting married in Texas. During the process, a flag came up and she was given a number to call: the Cleveland County District Attorney's Office.

The district attorney's office informed her that she was, indeed, a wanted fugitive and had been for 20 years.

Unsplash | Zach Vessels

"The first thing she told me was felony embezzlement, so, I thought I was gonna have a heart attack," McBride told Fox 25. "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."

The outlet reported that online documents backed up the office's assertion that McBride had been charged with felony embezzlement of rented property in March 2000.

McBride says she didn't even watch what was on the tape, *Sabrina the Teenage Witch*.

"I had lived with a young man, this was over 20 years ago. 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."

Weirdly, the charge did bring McBride some peace, at least in one sense.

She told Fox 25 that she had been let go suddenly from several jobs over the years without any explanation, and now she thinks she knows why.

"Because when they ran my criminal background check, all they're seeing is those two words: felony embezzlement."

The neighborhood video store the tape was rented from went out of business in 2008, Fox 25 reported.

And while prosecutors could have forged ahead despite the lack of a victim, Fox 25 reported that the district attorney's office has decided not to pursue the case against McBride. However, she will still need to have her case expunged to clear her record.

Rather, she's looking into her own legal options over the fiasco. "It's hurt me tremendously, and my family," she told USA Today. "It makes me madder and madder the more I think about it."

h/t: Fox 25