ANN ARBOR-- Yep, you heard it here first! The stealing of film has been going on for quite some time with the University of Michigan's head coach, Jim Harbaugh. Recent discoveries have tracked film stealing going way back to his playing years. Per sources, the earliest we can tell is 1995. According to a witness and security camera footage, Jim Harbaugh was first seen on this particular night in April, well into his offseason, walking out of an Indianapolis Blockbuster Video with a box-looking item underneath his jacket. Based on store records found later, it appears the items stolen on that fateful night were VHS copies of Basic Instinct and True Lies. If you are familiar with the iconic scenes in these films, I think it is fair to assume the kind of evening Mr. Harbaugh had later at home. Those two films were never returned.
But this was just the beginning of his film heist. In 1998, while exiting a Baltimore Blockbuster Video, Jim Harbaugh was seen fumbling four more VHSs he had concealed under his jacket. Again, based on store records, it appears Toy Story, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Back to the Future were stolen, in addition to a Qui-Gon Jin cardboard cut out, which was promotional material for the following year's Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The force wasn't with him, but the sticky fingers were. While it is safe to assume the films were stolen for a wholesome family night, those VHS tapes were never returned.
Fast forward to 2005. At this point, Harbaugh was coaching for the University of San Diego Toreros. One evening, the coach of the topic was stopped by two patrolmen who were suspicious of Harbaugh shoplifting. Ironically, they caught him at a Borders bookstore but noticed his sedan filled to the brim with items. They ordered him to open the vehicle, to which he obliged. Upon opening the rear driver's side door, an avalanche of microwave popcorn, boxed candies, movie posters, and unlabeled VHS tapes poured out on the parking lot. The police were able to track this thievery back to the most significant film heist that coincided with the liquidation of Blockbuster branches nationwide. It seems Mr. Harbaugh took advantage of the pandemonium within the business and struck when they were at their weakest.
Since then, Blockbuster has foreclosed, though there seem to be records of many other missing films throughout the store's history. Based on where Mr. Harbaugh was employed at the time, it is safe to assume he had something to do with stolen film in 1998, 1999, 2002, and 2003.
That brings us to the present day. Harbaugh's film heists have made national news, and serious penalties are expected. The question remains: will Harbaugh be forced to return the copy of Basic Instinct? And will that one spot on the VHS be completely worn out?
It seems only time will tell.
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