A woman was charged with a felony for not returning a VHS tape. She found out 21 years later.

A Texas woman doesn’t remember renting a VHS tape 22 years ago — let alone that she didn’t return it — and the place she rented it from shut its doors more than a decade ago. But the unreturned tape led to her being charged with a felony. 

Though the case was dismissed and expunged Wednesday, Caron McBride is looking into legal options. 

“It’s hurt me tremendously, and my family,” she told USA TODAY. “It makes me madder and madder the more I think about it.” 

McBride, 52, was charged with felony embezzlement of rental property in Oklahoma, where she previously lived, in March 2000 — more than a year after the tape of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” was to be returned, court records show.

She believes her boyfriend at the time who had two young daughters rented the tape in her name. 

“He had to have,” McBride said. “I know I didn’t.” 

She added: “I have never seen one episode nor movie.” 

McBride didn’t find out about the outstanding warrant against her until she tried to change her name on her license after getting married and moving to Texas from Oklahoma.

When she emailed the Department of Motor Vehicles in November to set up an appointment, as per COVID-19 protocols, she received a response on April 16 that she had to fix an issue in Oklahoma first. In the email response, she was given a case number and the phone number to the courthouse.

“I called it and the lady … looked up the reference number and told me it was a felony embezzlement,” McBride said. “I thought I was going to be have a heart attack.” 

She suspects having the felony on her record may have cost her job opportunities.

“I was working two jobs, sometimes three jobs,” McBride said. “I was struggling to make ends meet when I knew I was quite capable of making really good money.” 

Now, she is looking for a lawyer in Oklahoma but some have refused to take her case.

McBride said lawyers have told her that — after her story was aired on local news channels — they were contacted by people who went to jail for similar situations.

Although it is rare to have a warrant out for an arrest for over two decades, Ed Blau of Blau Law Firm, which is based in Oklahoma City, told News9, “there was no way for her to know she had this warrant.” 

“A prosecutor files charges on somebody for something serious (law enforcement is) going to go find that person,” he said. “Whereas on something like this you know they’re just going to wait until the person gets pulled over for speeding and gets taken into custody.”

In 2016, a North Carolina man was pulled over for a broken brake light when he was told he had an outstanding warrant for not returning a VHS tape of “Freddy Got Fingered” 15 years prior, according to Fortune. He was charged with a misdemeanor. 

Similarly, in 2014, a woman from South Carolina was at the sheriff’s office for other matters when she found out she had a warrant for an unreturned 2005 tape of “Monster-In-Law,” CNN reported. She had to spend the night in jail because her bond hearing couldn’t be held until the next morning, and she was released on a $2,000 bond. 

McBride said she’s glad she caught the charge. 

“I was fortunate … I didn’t get pulled over and go to jail and arrested for a felony,” she said. “Some of them weren’t.” 

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