Remember the days of video rentals?

The panic when you realised you hadn’t returned it on time and would have to pay a fine.

Things were a lot worse than that for one woman though – it resulted in a criminal record.

Even worse – it wasn’t for a classic film or a must-watch Oscar winner, it was all over a Sabrina the Teenage Witch videotape.

This happened to Caron McBride after she failed to return her videotape back in 1999.

The poor woman only found out what had happened when she tried to change her name on a driving licence, after she got married.

It was quite the shock.

To make matters worse, she didn’t even watch the tape, but it was rented in her name.

“Just not my cup of tea,” she told local media.


The video was rented from a store called Movie Place in Norman, Oklahoma, on Valentine’s Day back in 1999.

However, it was not returned after the agreed 10-day period.

Because of this, the prosecution in the case said Ms McBride had “wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously embezzled” a tape.

Unbelievably, they valued the tape at an incredible $58.59 (£42.18).

Like many video rental stores, it closed in 2008, mostly due to the success of streaming services.

Criminal Record

Even though the store was closed, Ms McBride was left with a criminal record.

When she tried to update her drivers license, the team told her about the felony embezzlement charge. It was discovered during a background check.

Understandably confused, Ms McBride called the Cleveland County District Attorney’s office in Oklahoma.

She was told there that the charge “was over the VHS tape”.

“I had to make her repeat it because I thought, this is insane,” she said. “This girl is kidding me, right? She wasn’t kidding”.


Unfortunately, this record had a huge impact on Ms McBride’s life.

She believes the words “felony embezzlement” on her record caused her to be rejected by least five jobs without explanation over the past 20 years.

“It’s a serious issue. It’s caused me and my family a lot of heartache financially because of the positions I’ve lost because of those two words. Something’s got to give,” she told KFOR.

Meanwhile, the case has now been dropped.

However, despite the case closing, Ms McBride still needs to get the record expunged.

She thinks a man she was living with at the time may be the one who rented the tape, for his young daughters.


The team behind the 90s sitcom were touched by her situation.

Star Melissa Joan Hart posted a shrugging emoji. Caroline Rhea from the show said: “Seriously let’s all sign a script for her to help her out.”

Of all the tapes not to return.

You don’t get this sort of problem with Netflix.

Images via Alamy