Looting on the Devon coast

Yes, I know Americans are quite capable of doing the same, given the opportunity.

And I know it’s far from the worst thing going on in the world right now.

And the potential environmental damage is far more disturbing.

But these folks aren’t exactly a desperate underclass, are they? And I suspect those who pay for the loss in the end will not necessarily be the very rich.

Police patrolled Branscombe beach Monday trying — with limited success — to keep scavengers away from about 40 containers which had washed ashore.

“A couple of hundred people have been on the beach today, taking things away, and there were around the same number last night,” said Constable Steve Spearitt.

“Around 15 BMW motorbikes were carried off the beach last night,” he said.

Authorities warned that the scavengers were breaking the law.

“People should be able to be allowed to take what they like. It is clearing up the beach, and it is part of the beach culture,” said one woman who carried away some carpet. She refused to give her name to reporters, but said she would report the find as the law requires.

Anyway, they’ve got this fool’s license plate number (not one of our readers, I hope):


Update: At the very least, I hope we all can agree that this guy deserves no pity:

John Williams, 40, was close to collapse after rolling a new BMW gearbox along the beach inside an oak wine barrel. He had to stop half a mile short of the road suffering from exhaustion. He said: “It is very tiring taking it across the pebbles and I have no idea how I will make the three miles up the hill to the car. The container full of cosmetics is empty. I got the last thing in it which was a tub of rejuvenating cream. I really need that now.”