The Washington Post

This woman was arrested for failing to return a rental movie… 9 years ago

New Line Cinema

There are children currently alive who will never see a VHS movie and might not even be able to recognize one. But you can still, apparently, be arrested for failing to return one to a rental store … at least in South Carolina, where 27-year-old Kayla Finley was jailed overnight for keeping a “Monster-in-Law” VHS she rented in 2005.

That “Monster-in-Law” VHS, per eBay, is worth about 50 cents today. Her bail was set at $2,000.

According to CNN affiliate WYFF-TV, the rental store owner requested a warrant years ago, when Finley didn’t turn in the video. The warrant apparently didn’t surface again until Finley went into the station on another matter last week.

We don’t have to take WYFF’s word for it, though: A woman claiming to be Finley herself took to WYFF’s Facebook page to rage about the arrest. Her profile photo and details match those released by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department and reported by WYFF. (If the comments seem disjointed, it’s for good reason — Finley left them at different points over the three-day weekend, and some are clearly intended as responses to other commenters in the thread, though she rarely specifies which.)

The moral of the story, clearly, is to use Netflix, Amazon, Google Play, or whatever streaming video provider you prefer for all your rental needs. (Refer to our list of the best free movies to stream, if you need more guidance here.) Not that you really have a choice: Blockbuster famously closed 300 of its U.S. locations last year, and even the store where Finley got “Monster-in-Law” has since gone out of business.

Caitlin Dewey is The Post’s digital culture critic. Follow her on Twitter @caitlindewey or subscribe to her daily newsletter on all things Internet. (



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