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Unreturned VHS Rental Gets Woman Arrested 9 Years Later

By Aditi Mukherji, JD | Last updated on

A South Carolina woman has been arrested for never returning a VHS rental. If you're wondering who in the world still watches VHS tapes, rest assured, the rental was from 2005 -- the year of "Hollaback Girl," "Capote," the death of Pope John Paul II, and Hurricane Katrina.

Kayla Michelle Finley, 27, of Pickens County, is facing a misdemeanor charge of "failure to return a rented video cassette," CNN reports.

The real crime: It was a Jennifer Lopez movie.

'Monster-In-Law' Leads to Arrest Warrant

In 2005, Finley rented the movie "Monster-In-Law," starring Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda as soon-to-be daughter- and mother-in-laws, duking it out in a battle of wits.

She rented the movie from Dalton Videos, a store that is now out of business (what a shocker). When she didn't return the movie, the business owner went to a local magistrate who issued an arrest warrant, CNN reports.

A mere nine years later, Finley went to the police station to press charges against a stalker and the outstanding warrant came to light. Finley spent a night in jail, but was released the next morning on $2,000 bail and now faces a charge of "misdemeanor failure to return rented video cassette."

Failure to Return Rented Video Cassette

When you dust off the cobwebs from South Carolina's rental video laws, you'd discover that you can face theft charges when you "willfully and fraudulently" fail to return a rental video or cassette tape within 72 hours after the agreement has expired -- and also for unauthorized use or sale of the tapes.

Finley denies it was a "willful or fraudulent" failure on her part. "I didn't rent a movie with the intent of keeping it," she apparently wrote on a local TV station's Facebook page. She says she moved out of state for her husband's job, forgot about the movie, and never received notice from the sheriff's office that there was a warrant for her arrest, CNN reports.

For petty theft in the state, Finley could face up to 30 days in jail or a fine of up to $1,000. Although the alleged crime took place nine years ago, South Carolina is among the few states without a statute of limitation for any type of criminal prosecution.

If you're in South Carolina, it's time to precariously blow into the Nintendo cartridges and return those, too.

And don't forget to "be kind and rewind." Ah, memories.

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