Three Bridgeport men who used counterfeit checks to purchase expensive cars are under arrest thanks to an alert car dealership and efforts by Fairfield police.

Police were called Thursday by the manager at Audi of Fairfield on Commerce Drive, who said he had been given a counterfeit check for $35,734 for the purchase of a 2010 Audi A5 by a man who called himself Mark Miller, but was later identified as Marcus Broomes. He said Broomes had come to the dealership July 16 and put down a $1,000 deposit for the car, but declined to take it for a test drive.

Broomes and another man, Desmond Pollard, had driven to the dealership in a Mercedes they had just purchased from Land Rover of Milford, police said. A third man, Anthony Whitaker came with Broomes last Wednesday to arrange for the purchase and supplied his driver's license for the transaction. Whitaker was driving an Infiniti bought the day before from BMW of Bridgeport, again with a counterfeit check, police said.

The Audi was to be turned over to Broomes at 2 p.m. Wednesday, but first the manager decided to determine if the check, drawn on Excel Federal Credit Unit, was authentic. His investigation revealed the check was a fake -- everything on the check, from the routing number to account holder's name -- was a fraud, police said.

Police were contacted and patrol officers and detectives initiated surveillance of the dealership. When Broomes and Pollard arrived back the dealership and spotted police, they tried to flee the dealership through a side door, but were taken into custody. Whitaker arrived a short time later and when he saw a police cruiser, drove away, eventually abandoning his car on a dead-end street and taking off on foot. He was, however, taken into custody.

All three gave an address of Ridgefield Avenue in Bridgeport,and police executed a search-and-seizure warrant at the property and recovered computers and printers that were used to print the counterfeit checks, according to police.

Police believe the men also used fake checks to buy the Mercedes and the Infinti, and were planning to buys cars from Napoli Nissan and Stevens Ford, both in Milford.

Broomes, 27, Whitaker, 22, and Pollard, 21, were each charged with criminal attempt to commit first-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny and second-degree forgery. Whitaker was also charged with interfering with an officer. All three were held in liue of bonds of $150,000 each and were arraigned Friday in Bridgeport Superior Court.