When Postnet locked its doors on the evening of Feb. 5, none of the staff could have imagined the destruction its employees would bear witness to the next morning. A vandal, apparently holding a grudge against employees, trashed the printing shop during the night, wrecking all the shop’s equipment – from $44,000 digital presses to the coffee maker and microwave – to the tune of more than $100,000. The store has been closed for business for three weeks now, adding loss of revenue to loss of equipment.
The vandal himself could have not imagined the support the community would give to a valued business nor the disdain that community would express for his crime. Posts of support went up immediately on Facebook and, within days of the attack, painted hearts and expressions of support from the community appeared on Postnet’s windows.
“I was absolutely horrified, sickened, and shocked that someone could have that much hatred and anger to do such a terrible thing, especially to such a lovely community-minded individual and his family,” said Artful Gift Shop owner Peggy James, who showed up immediately with other business people to help clean up after getting a call from Postnet owner James Cudney.
LAURA MAGANE GOYER, who brought friends to decorate Postnet’s windows with hearts and inspiring words, hoped the perpetrator would feel “ashamed.”
“This was hateful, despicable, and, clearly, the act of someone who couldn’t communicate without resorting to violence,” Goyer said, calling the crime a “travesty” that someone would commit a senseless act like that against a business and a family “who gives so much” to the community. “I took it personally because, to me, James Cudney is one of the prominent faces of small Vienna businesses,” Goyer said.
Cudney was moved by the community’s support.
“When I came in [ Feb. 21], the sun was shining through the windows,” said Cudney. “All the colors came streaming through. I really teared up.
“This comes down to how Vienna reacts,”Cudney said. “Vienna comes together to support one another.”
EVERY MACHINE, every computer, every countertop and desk, even the toilet, was trashed, thrown, or broken. Paint was strewn on walls and equipment … gender-specific slurs (females insults) were painted or carved into walls. When Postnet’s opening employee showed up, she immediately called Cudney. “Get over here right now,” she blurted to Cudney. The employee was frantic, telling Cudney that someone had broken in and destroyed the entire store and conference room. The employee cried as she told him about the vandalism.
Once he understood the dimension of the vandalism, Cudney asked her to “calm down” and call the police.
“Whoever this was,” said Cudney, “is extremely strong, likely male, with a vendetta against female employees here.
“Somebody knows something,” said Cudney. “The person who did this is talking to someone.”
POSTNET VIENNA is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the vandal. If anyone has information concerning this crime, contact Detective Scott Leroux of the Vienna Police Department,
phone 703-255-6332 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.