Wednesday, October 24, 2007
WEST NEWBURY, Mass. Oct. 24, 2007 – A former elementary school principal convicted several years ago on heroin charges was arrested Saturday and charged with shoplifting more than $1,000 worth of items from West Newbury and Newburyport stores. Margaret Loder-Healy, 54, of 8 Town Forest Road, Merrimac, was arrested at 9:44 p.m. outside Box and Bow on Main Street. Loder-Healy was taking items from a tent outside Box and Bow, looking both ways, and then sticking them in an oversized pocketbook, said officer James Riley. Riley said he waited until Loder-Healy got into her car without paying for the items.”She said she wasn’t stealing anything, that she was getting ready to pay for it,” Riley said. He said Loder-Healy initially refused to get out of her car and resisted arrest before he took her to the station. She was charged with shoplifting, larceny from a building, receiving stolen property worth more than $250 and resisting arrest.
Loder-Healy made national news seven years ago when the Eagle-Tribune revealed that the Newton, N.H., elementary school principal was facing federal heroin possession charges and had been going to a Lawrence methadone clinic since 1980. Loder-Healy had previously taught in Amesbury, Reading, Hampstead and Londonderry despite having pleaded guilty in Rockingham District Court in 1982 to posing as a nurse to obtain codeine. In 2000, she pleaded guilty to purchasing heroin in North Andover and was sentenced to probation.Loder-Healy resigned her position several weeks after the initial reports.”Because I’m a heroin addict doesn’t mean I’m a bad person, a bad teacher, a bad principal,” Loder-Healy told the newsmagazine “20/20″ in a 2000 interview. “I happen to be a teacher with a bad problem.”Loder-Healy had a history of shoplifting as well, including a guilty plea in 1999 for stealing several hundred dollars worth of merchandise from a Sears department store in Salem, N.H.Riley said while investigating Loder-Healy, he recovered a “huge amount” of property valued at more than $1,000 that appeared to have been stolen from Newburyport stores. He said various merchants were still coming to collect jewelry, pocketbooks, clothing and shoes that were in Loder-Healy’s possession.Loder-Healy posted bail Saturday night, but apparently wanted souvenirs from the police station, Riley said.
“She was sitting out in the dispatch center, loading her pocketbook with the free gunlocks we give out,” he said.
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