STAMFORD -- An off-duty Darien police officer helped nab three Bridgeport men who had taken more than $1,000 worth of groceries from Stop & Shop on Bedford Street, police said.

Police said one of the suspects punched the store manager, leaving the men to face robbery charges.

Dwayne Brown, 39, of 911 Capital Ave., Bridgeport and William Mayo, 50, of 119 Vine St., Bridgeport and Wesley McCain, 42, of no known address in Bridgeport, were charged with fourth-degree larceny, third-degree assault, third-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit larceny, assault and robbery. The three were held in lieu of $15,000 bond.

Stamford Police Sgt. Richard Barbagallo said the Darien officer saw the three men walk out of the store with three carts of unbagged groceries without paying.

The officer and the store's manager went out to the car, where the men were unloading the groceries, Barbagallo said. The officer, who was not identified by Stamford police, held Brown for authorities while McCain struggled with the manager, Barbagallo said.

After punching the manager repeatedly, McCain and the third man were able to run away, Barbagallo said. Police, however, soon caught up with them.

The value of the items in the carts totalled $1,066, Barbagallo said.