In 2021, an unreturned VHS tape can haunt your job and life

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Ever mysteriously lost a job opportunity? Did they treat you like a criminal? Better check to see if your family forgot to return a VHS tape 22 years ago!

As utterly ridiculous as that sounds, it’s apparently the true story of Texas woman Caron McBride, who had a warrant out for her arrest in Oklahoma for felony embezzlement — all because a movie store thought she rented a copy of Sabrina the Teenage Witch in 1999 and never bothered to bring it back. Never mind that the store in question (“Movie Place”) closed in 2008, or that VHS is such a dated tech that even the last Japanese manufacturer finally stopped producing the players five years back.

McBride told local Fox News affiliate KOKH (via Gizmodo) that she had no idea this tape even existed and never would have picked it — “just not my cup of tea” — but thinks maybe a man she used to live with at the time could have rented it for his two kids. She only found out about the out-of-state warrant when she tried to change the name on her driver’s license after getting married in Texas.

“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,” McBride told KOKH.

She also told the publication she’d been let go from several jobs over the past few years and suspects this was the reason: “When they ran my criminal background check, all they’re seeing is those two words: felony embezzlement.”

While the warrant has now reportedly been dropped and her record may soon be expunged, it wouldn’t have been totally surprising if she’d actually gotten arrested over the tape: a man in North Carolina got arrested for an overdue VHS rental in 2016.

The New York Times admirably reached out to the world’s last remaining Blockbuster video rental store for comment about McBride and got one: “We’ve definitely not sent out a warrant for anybody for that,” said manager Sandi Harding. “That’s a little bit crazy to me.”

McBride’s plight reached the cast of Sabrina the Teenage Witch after star Melissa Joan Hart shared it on Instagram. You can read more cast members’ thoughts in the comments there.

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