JONESBORO — A traffic stop made by Clayton County police Sunday led to the arrest of a suspected catalytic converter thief.

The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday that Tomathias Beauford, 27, was arrested when officer’s found drugs and approximately 50 converters in the car he was driving.

Clayton police said they pulled Beauford over because the Blue 2005 Toyota Corolla he was missing its vehicle tag. When approached, police reported the car smelled of marijuana. The converters were in “plain view” as well as the tools needed to remove them from vehicles.

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Police said 10 of the 55 catalytic converters have been identified as those stolen from Hennessey Mitsubishi in Morrow.

Earlier this month Clayton County Police warned citizens that thieves were stealing catalytic converters from vehicles.

A catalytic converter is a device made with platinum and palladium that converts three harmful compounds in car exhaust into harmless compounds.

If a converter is removed from a vehicle, police said it will make a loud roaring sound when the gas pedal is pressed, a sputtering sound as speed changes and the car will not drive smoothly.

Clayton police suggest residents park their cars in well lit areas or in a garage, calibrate the alarm to go off when vibration is detected and engrave the vehicle’s VIN on the catalytic converter for tracking if stolen.

Beauford is charged with theft by receiving stolen property, possession of tools during a commission of a crime and possession of marijuana less than 1 ounce.

He remains in the Clayton County jail.

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