Vandals caused thousands of dollars in damage yesterday at an Alexandria newsprint warehouse owned by The Washington Post in the second such incident in less than two weeks, authorities said.
Police who were called to the Robinson Terminal Warehouse on the Alexandria waterfront about 3 a.m. said that an office was ransacked, forklifts were driven away after being rammed into walls and an attempt was made to set fire to rolls of newsprint.
Police said they had no suspects in yesterday's incident, or in the incident that occurred late July 29 or early July 30.
"Why is it that someone would target this particular warehouse and do such an enormous amount of destruction . . . in a two-week period?" asked Capt. John Crawford, an Alexandria police spokesman.
"This is more than just a prank," he said. "They're using the machinery to destroy the inside of the warehouse."
Kent Barnekov, president of the Robinson Terminal Warehouse Corp., which operates the warehouse, said he had no idea who was behind the vandalism. He said that it is difficult to imagine a motive and that he knew of no threats made against the operation.
Barnekov said that the vandals "may have determined that the warehouse was an easy place to hit." Police said entry was gained by forcing a door open. "Security will be definitely upgraded," Barnekov said.
An official of The Washington Post Co., which owns the warehouse, said that none of the newspaper's other facilities had been the target of similar acts.
According to Crawford, one of the forklifts was dumped into the Potomac River. The other has not been recovered.
In the previous incident, it was reported that four forklifts, with a total value of $200,000, were driven into cinderblock walls and then dumped in the river.
Both incidents damaged some of the one-ton rolls of newsprint that are used to print the newspaper. Building sprinklers suppressed yesterday's newsprint fire. Barnekov said production of The Post would not be affected.