News & Politics

Woman Faces Federal Felony Charges For Unreturned Movie Rental... From 21 Years Ago

Douglas C. Pizac

A Texas woman who wanted to legally change her name on her driver’s license after getting married got a lot more than she bargained for when authorities in Cleveland County, Okla., told her that she was wanted on a charge of felony embezzlement.

It seems that Caron McBride failed to return a copy of Sabrina the Teenage Witch that she rented in 1999 in Norman, Okla. The movie rental outlet has since gone out of business but the charges stuck.

It might seem funny except McBride has lost a couple of jobs over the last 20 years and she didn’t know why.

New York Post:

“The first thing (the woman answering the phone at the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office) told me was (I was wanted for) felony embezzlement, so, I thought I was gonna have a heart attack,” McBride said.

Online documents show Caron McBride is a wanted woman for never returning a rental VHS tape of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” in 1999.

“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 said.

“I mean, I didn’t try to deceive anyone over Samantha (Sabrina) the Teenage Witch. I swear,” McBride said.

I remember finding a library book a few years ago that I forgot to return when I was a kid. Maybe I should go into hiding.

CBS 21:

McBride told FOX 25 Tuesday that she doesn’t remember ever renting the movie.

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

Documents show the movie was rented at ‘Movie Place’ in Norman, which is no longer open.

The Cleveland County Assessor’s Office said records show the business closed down in 2008.

Technically, the charge is “Felony Embezzlement of Rented Property” which seems a might excessive. The charges were filed in March 2000.

CBS 21:

McBride said over the last 20 years, she’s been let go from several jobs without being given a reason why. She told FOX 25, now, it all makes sense.

“This is why… because when they ran my criminal background check, all they’re seeing is those two words: felony embezzlement,” McBride said.

In truth, McBride is taking this a lot better than many of us would. Those charges did more than cost her a couple of jobs. They affected her credit score, preventing her from getting decent interest rates on credit cards. McBride may want to seek redress from the Oklahoma prosecutors who kept these ridiculous charges on the books all these years.

Graciously, the DA’s office has reviewed the case and decided to dismiss the charges. But McBride will still have to travel to Oklahoma from her home in Texas to fully expunge her records. And what of all those online background check services? How many decades will it be before most of them get around to expunging their records?

Changing her name will be a real blessing.