Of course, ransacking is violent, and it's criminal. Well, actually, it's not a crime if the police are ransacking a home that they've gotten permission to search. But we can also use the word "ransack" more lightly. If I'm ransacking my sock drawer or ransacking my suitcase, then I'm making a mess of it as I try to find something in it.
I might have to ransack my kitchen to find the cupcake liners. That means I'd open lots of drawers and lots of cabinets, throwing things aside, trying to find those cupcake liners. The guy in the gif below, for whatever reason, appears to be ransacking a briefcase full of pancakes. What do you think he's looking for?
You might be wondering if the word "ransack" has anything to do with "sacks," especially since you might shove things into sacks as you steal them, like the Grinch did. Actually, those two words aren't related. "Ransack" comes from an Old Norse word, and it literally means "to search the house."
Lastly, although ransacking is usually physical—usually something you do to a place—you can also ransack your brain for something, or ransack your memory for something. That means you're frantically looking around inside your head, trying to grab onto the idea that you're looking for.