catch (one) red-handed

(redirected from caught him red-handed)

catch (one) red-handed

To see, and perhaps apprehend, someone as they are doing something (often something nefarious). The phrase might have originally referred to blood on a murderer's hands. The police caught the robbers red-handed as they ransacked another house. Timmy tried to get into the cookie jar again, but I caught him red-handed.
See also: catch

catch someone red-handed

 and catch someone flat-footed
to catch a person in the act of doing something wrong. (See also caught red-handed.) Tom was stealing the car when the police drove by and caught him red-handed. Mary tried to cash a forged check at the bank, and the teller caught her red-handed.
See also: catch

catch red-handed

Also, catch in the act. Apprehend someone in the course of wrongdoing, as in The boys were trying to steal a car and the police caught them red-handed, or He tried to cheat on the exam, but his teacher walked in and caught him in the act. The first term referred to blood on a murderer's hands and originally signified only that crime. Later it was extended to any offense. The variant ( catch in the act) is a translation of the Latin in flagrante delicto, part of the Roman code and long used in English law.
See also: catch

catch someone red-handed

COMMON If you catch someone red-handed, you see or find them while they are doing something illegal or wrong. The burglar was on the roof and was caught red-handed by the police. They all pleaded guilty to conspiring to import drugs after being caught red-handed by customs officers. Note: The reference here is to a guilty person whose hands are covered in blood.
See also: catch, someone

catch somebody red-ˈhanded

find somebody while they are doing something wrong, committing a crime, etc: The thief was caught red-handed as she was emptying the till.This originally referred to catching a person with blood still on their hands after killing somebody.
See also: catch, somebody
References in periodicals archive ?
We caught him red-handed and seized 4kg of heroin," Maj-Gen Al Mansouri said.
Police later caught him red-handed as he handed over drugs to some people in one of the emirates in exchange for cash.
Sharifuddin told the police that Hasnain killed his children when they caught him red-handed while stealing money.
Muharraq Police station's security officers raided the shop and caught him red-handed.
Thereupon, he along with Judicial Magistrate Wasim Anjum raided the office of the Patwari and caught him red-handed while accepting bribe from him.
Officers caught him red-handed when he arrived at an address in the village of Kinmylies last December.
In a separate incident a 22-year-old Romanian man was arrested shortly after midnight on Tuesday in Limnaria in Paphos after officers allegedly caught him red-handed trying to get away from a flat owned by British pensioners with around e1/45,000 worth of their jewellery.
A MAN who burgled a pensioner's home as she slept was caught when her granddaughter caught him red-handed.
While the man was practicing his sorcery on the agent, Haia officials caught him red-handed.
We caught him red-handed - if we had just arrested him he probably would have denied it.
I had caught him red-handed and (call me naive) expected an apology and corrective action.
Police caught him red-handed after a tip-off about a suspected benefit fraud sparked a wider undercover drugs investigation.
Tyler Juett, 17, was stabbed in a struggle after the 22-year-old man caught him red-handed breaking into his house in Nottingham with two accomplices.
It was in the second home where our hero caught him red-handed, confronted him, and fired two shots at him as he fled.
the guest who caught him red-handed was a member of a police rugby team.