THIEVES. There's no better word to describe the people that are looting the cargo from the Devon shores. Some people seem to be claiming "Finders Keepers - Losers Weepers." I don't know what system of ethics has told these people that it's okay to take items from a ship-wreck; but, it's theft.
While the Coast Guard is attempting to allay any environmental risk, the local police department is being forced to provide security for the beached cargo.
On the news last night I saw some people taking diapers, one woman embarrassed to be taking cat food, some hauling away auto parts, and some even loading up a brand-new, barely wet, BMW motorcycle. I saw one guy rolling away a barrel of what I can only assume is some type of wine or spirit (in hind-sight: I may be unable to resist the temptation of an entire barrel of scotch).
I'm having trouble finding an article explaining the ship's source or destination. It would also be nice to find a manifest of the cargo - though I assume that would be pretty extensive. The ship was carrying almost 2,400 containers and about 150 of those are said to be carrying hazardous material.
Congratulations, citizens of Devon and nearby Dorset... You have qualified for this week's example of society's downfall.