caught in the act


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catch (one) in the act

To see, and perhaps apprehend, someone as they are doing something (often something nefarious). The police caught the robbers in the act of ransacking another house. I suspected that my friend was stealing money from me, and then I caught her in the act.
See also: act, catch

caught in the act

Seen, and perhaps apprehended, while doing something (often something nefarious). Our security cameras caught the burglar in the act.
See also: act, caught

caught in the act

 and caught red-handed
Fig. seen doing something illegal or private. (See also catch someone in the act (of doing something) and catch someone red-handed.) Tom was caught in the act and cannot deny what he did. Many car thieves are caught red-handed.
See also: act, caught