WESTPORT — Police on the hunt for burglary suspects near the Fairfield border instead caught three New Yorkers with more than $74,000 in stolen and fraudulent checks on Wednesday morning.

A detective was near the intersection of Post Road East and Bulkley Avenue on Wednesday investigating recent reports of burglaries and attempted burglaries in the area. While looking for suspects, the detective saw a car with out-of-state license plates and watched at a distance as two men got out of the car and walked one way, while the car began to drive in another direction, according to police. Police said they found the situation suspicious, so additional units responded, stopped the car and the two men on foot, and began to investigate.

Police said Alphonso Stewart, Maliki Cottrell and Rashon Perkins gave different explanations for why they were in town, none of which officers could verify. While looking for registration paperwork for the vehicle, driven by Stewart, police allegedly found 14 fake or stolen checks totaling more than $74,000.

Stewart, 31, of Brooklyn, N.Y., Cottrell, 28, of Yonkers, N.Y., and Perkins, 27, of the Bronx, N.Y., were charged with 14 counts of third-degree forgery, one count of first-degree conspiracy to commit larceny and one count of first-degree identity theft. Cottrell received additional charges of third-degree identity theft and interfering with an officer for giving police a fake ID. The men were not charged in connection with any burglaries.

The men are each being held in lieu of $50,000 bond for the felony and misdemeanor charges.

Lweiss@hearstmediact.com; @LauraEWeiss16