put off the track
put (one) off the track
To misdirect one away from their pursuit; to steer one's investigation or suspicions in the wrong direction. The mafia accountant managed to put the authorities off the track of the mob's money laundering for years, but they finally caught up with him after an anonymous source tipped them off. That outlier data put me off the track for a while, but I think my research is back on solid ground now.
put someone off the trackand put someone off the trail
to cause someone to lose a trail that is being followed. (See also put someone off the scent; throw someone off the track.) A distraction put me off the track and I almost got lost in the jungle. I was following an escaped convict and something put me off the trail.