Texas woman faced felony embezzlement charge for 2 decades over VHS rental from closed Oklahoma video store

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A former Oklahoma resident now living in Texas recently learned that she had an active warrant for a felony embezzlement charge for the past two decades after allegedly never returning a rented VHS tape in 1999. 

Caron McBride told Fox 25 that she first was made aware of the charge when she tried to change her name on her driver’s license after getting married in Texas. McBride said she tried to make an appointment with the Department of Motor Vehicles under restrictions put in place during the coronavirus pandemic but received an email back that she had an “issue in Oklahoma.”

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She said she then called the reference number provided, which connected to the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office. A woman over the phone told McBride that she had been charged with felony embezzlement of rented property in March, 2000.

Court documents available online showed that McBride was accused of never returning “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” on VHS tape to a “Movie Place” in Norman, Oklahoma in 1999, Fox 25 reported. 

“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.”

Records show the video rental store closed in 2008, the Cleveland County Assessor’s Office said. The Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office agreed to drop the case against McBride on Wednesday. The charge was filed under a previous district attorney.

But McBride will still need to get her case expunged in order to clear her record, the station reported.

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“Just because the district attorney’s office dismissed the case, it doesn’t make the case completely go away,” Ed Blau, who runs a criminal defense firm in Oklahoma City, told KFOR when asked about McBride’s predicament. “It’s not as simple as just filling out a form. You actually have to sue the state of Oklahoma and clear your record.”

The woman said she suspected a previous roommate – a man with three young daughters at the time – had rented the VHS tape two decades ago but somehow used her name. “I mean, I didn’t try to deceive anyone over Samantha [Sabrina] the Teenage Witch. I swear,” McBride said, using the wrong name for the main character in the popular 90s sitcom.

“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,” she said. “Meanwhile, I’m a wanted felon for a VHS tape.”

McBride said she now suspects the felony embezzlement charge was to blame after having been rejected from at least five jobs over the past 20 years without being given a reason. “This is why,” she told Fox 25. “Because when they ran my criminal background check, all they’re seeing is those two words: felony embezzlement.”

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McBride told KFOR she is in the process of looking for an attorney to handle getting her record cleared.

“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 said.

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