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Overdue VHS Tape From 1999 Leads to Warrant for Embezzlement

They as soon as dotted buying plazas in America with ubiquity, beckoning binge watchers with cabinets of VHS cassettes, microwave popcorn and bins of sweet — and a reminder to “Be Sort, Rewind.”

However whilst video rental shops have been pushed nearer to the brink of extinction by streaming providers like Netflix and altering expertise, a Texas lady received’t quickly neglect the time she rented a tape and didn’t return it.

The girl, who was recognized in courtroom information as Caron Scarborough Davis, just lately realized that there was a 21-year-old excellent warrant for her arrest in Oklahoma.

Her offense?

Prosecutors mentioned that Ms. Davis had didn’t return a replica of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” a tv sitcom that aired from 1996 to 2003. She rented the tape of episodes from a video retailer in Norman, Okla., in 1999, in response to courtroom paperwork.

She was charged with embezzlement of rented property, and a warrant was issued for her arrest in March 2000. The shop that she rented the tape from, Film Place, has since closed.

In a charging doc, prosecutors mentioned that Ms. Davis “did willfully, unlawfully and feloniously embezzle a sure One (1) Videocassette Tape, Sabrina the Teenage Witch of the worth of $58.59.”

Ms. Davis, 52, found the excellent warrant for her arrest after she bought married and tried to alter her title on her driver’s license, the tv station KOKH Fox 25 in Oklahoma reported on Thursday.

“I assumed I used to be going to have a coronary heart assault,” she mentioned.

Ms. Davis mentioned motorized vehicle officers referred her to the district legal professional’s workplace for Cleveland County, Okla., the place a lady defined the cost towards her.

“She instructed me it was over the VHS tape and I needed to make her repeat it as a result of I assumed, ‘That is insane,’” Ms. Davis mentioned. “This woman is kidding me, proper? She wasn’t kidding.”

Ms. Davis couldn’t be instantly reached on Sunday.

On April 21, prosecutors dropped the embezzlement cost towards Ms. Davis in consideration of the “finest curiosity of justice,” in response to courtroom paperwork. KOKH Fox 25 had contacted prosecutors the day gone by concerning the cost.

Greg Mashburn, the district legal professional for Cleveland, Garvin and McClain Counties in Oklahoma, didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Sunday, nor did Tim D. Kuykendall, who was the district legal professional when the warrant was issued.

Sandi Harding, the final supervisor of the world’s last Blockbuster video store, in Bend, Ore., mentioned in an interview on Sunday that bringing felony expenses for an unreturned film appeared overly punitive.

“We’ve undoubtedly not despatched out a warrant for anyone for that,” she mentioned. “That’s a bit of a bit loopy to me.”

Blockbuster assesses each day late charges of 49 to 99 cents for overdue movies as much as 10 days. After that, the shop expenses clients as much as $19.99 to switch considered one of its DVDs or Blu-ray discs, Ms. Harding mentioned.

In some instances, the shop, which doesn’t lease VHS cassettes, will refer past-due accounts for assortment, she mentioned.

“We might by no means cost somebody $100 for a replica of ‘Scooby-Doo’ that they by no means returned,” she mentioned.

It was not instantly clear who owned the now-shuttered video retailer the place Ms. Davis rented the tape or whether or not she owed any late charges. She instructed KOKH Fox 25 that she had no recollection of renting the video, saying that she lived with a person on the time who had two younger daughters.

“I’m considering he went and bought it and didn’t take it again or one thing,” she mentioned. “I’ve by no means watched that present in my complete life — simply not my cup of tea.”

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