RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Authorities in Richland County said the discovery of a homeless camp led them to breaks in multiple burglary cases.

Deputies with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) responded to a construction site off Farrow Road on Wednesday after the site manager reported that someone had cut a hole in the back fence and attempted to steal spools of copper wire and other construction tools.

At the site, which is set to become a new car dealership, deputies said they noticed footprints leading to the back of the property where they discovered three spools of wire – the discovery eventually led investigators to a homeless camp in the woods and large construction equipment, power tools, copper wiring and other items.

Two people, Christopher Leggett and Jessica Rhein, were detained at the campsite. A team of property crimes investigators connected the pair and a third person, Jessica Rhein, to at least a dozen burglary cases over the past two years including a storage facility where deputies said 22 units were broken into.

“We have compassion for people struggling with homelessness who are in need of services, but that is not the case with these three,” said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. “They were victimizing the surrounding community and using the camp as a base for their criminal activity.”

Investigators are still sorting items found at the camp and are working to identify victims and link cases.

All three were arrested on charges of receiving stolen goods. Stephen Rhein is facing a charge of second-degree burglary and grand larceny while Jessica Rhein is facing a charge of possession of methamphetamine. They were all booked into the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.