looter

Someone who takes advantage of a chaotic situation to steal things is a looter. During a war (or even during a blackout), looters may help themselves to food and supplies from shops.

When you think of a riot, you probably not only imagine angry people shouting in the street and damaging property, but also looters raiding stores and stealing goods from them. Looter, defined in the 1850s as "one who plunders," comes from loot, "to steal," from the Hindi lut and loptram or lotram, "stolen property," in Sanskrit.

Definitions of looter
  1. noun
    someone who takes spoils or plunder (as in war)
    synonyms: despoiler, freebooter, pillager, plunderer, raider, spoiler
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    examples:
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    Khayr ad-Din
    Barbary pirate (died in 1546)
    Jean Laffite
    French pirate who aided the United States in the War of 1812 and received an official pardon for his crimes (1780-1826)
    Sir Henry Morgan
    a Welsh buccaneer who raided Spanish colonies in the West Indies for the English (1635-1688)
    Bartholomew Roberts
    a Welsh pirate credited with having taken more than 400 ships (1682-1722)
    Edward Thatch
    an English pirate who operated in the Caribbean and off the Atlantic coast of North America (died in 1718)
    types:
    buccaneer, pirate, sea robber, sea rover
    someone who robs at sea or plunders the land from the sea without having a commission from any sovereign nation
    Barbary pirate, corsair
    a pirate along the Barbary Coast
    sea king
    a Viking pirate chief
    type of:
    stealer, thief
    a criminal who takes property belonging to someone else with the intention of keeping it or selling it
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