Woman wanted for VHS tape rental that’s 20 years late

Melissa Joan Hart, left, star of "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" with her co-star Beth Broderick, on the set of the show. Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Be kind and return on time. Or else.

A Texas woman says she’s unknowingly been the subject of a Sabrina the Teenage Witch hunt for the last two decades, after allegedly failing to return a rented VHS tape to an Oklahoma store in 1999.

Caron Davis, 52, insists she doesn’t know anything about the missing tape, but she has nevertheless been a wanted woman for the last 21 years.

Charging documents in Oklahoma allege that Davis “did willfully, unlawfully and feloniously embezzle a certain One (1) Videocassette Tape, Sabrina the Teenage Witch of the value of $58.59,” according to the New York Times.

Davis says she had no knowledge of the warrant for her arrest until earlier this month, when she went to change her name after getting married in Texas.

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“They told me I had an issue in Oklahoma,” McBride told OKCFOX. “I’m a wanted felon for a VHS tape.”

McBride says she immediately dismissed the news as “insane” and went into a panic.

“I thought I was gonna have a heart attack,” she said, adding that she has no memory of ever renting the Sabrina tape.

Nevertheless, court documents say that the VHS tape was rented under her account from a store called Movie Place in Norman, Okla., in 1999. The charge was filed in 2000 and has remained on the books ever since, despite the total collapse of the movie-rental business in the decades since. The store itself is also long gone after closing down in 2008.

Davis says she was living in Oklahoma in the late 1990s with a boyfriend who had two daughters under the age of 12. She suspects he used her card to rent the movie for his girls and simply never returned it, though she doesn’t know for sure.

“I don’t know, I have never watched that show in my entire life,” she said, adding that the Melissa Joan Hart comedy is “not my cup of tea.”

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

It’s unclear if the tape included episodes from the Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV series, or if it featured the 1996 TV movie that launched the show.

Though she didn’t know about the case, McBride suspects she’s been cursed by the wayward VHS for years. She says she’s been abruptly fired from several jobs over the years without ever learning the reason why, and now she thinks she knows.

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

Fortunately, Davis’ string of bad luck has already started to turn around. The Oklahoma District Attorney’s Office announced last week that it was dropping the case against her amid the sudden media scrutiny.

A lawyer told OKCFOX that Davis will likely need to get the charge expunged before she can fully escape the hex on her record.

In the meantime, Davis appears to have won a few witches’ hearts from the original series.

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Sabrina actress Melissa Joan Hart posted a screenshot of Davis’ story on Instagram Sunday, and Aunt Hilda actress Caroline Rhea suggested they should team up to show her some love.

“Seriously,” Rhea wrote, “let’s all sign a script for her to help her out.”

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