throw (one) off the scent

(redirected from throw them off the scent)

throw (one) off the scent

To misdirect one away from their pursuit; to steer one's investigation or suspicions in the wrong direction. The mafia accountant managed to throw the authorities off the scent 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 threw me off the scent for a while, but I think my research is back on track now.
See also: off, scent, throw

throw someone off the scent

or

put someone off the scent

If something or someone throws you off the scent or puts you off the scent when you are looking for someone or something, they confuse or deceive you by making you believe something that is not true. We decided that if anyone was following us, it would be wiser if we split up to throw them off the scent. The team was also put off the scent by the alibi Maxine Jones gave Morgan. Officers now accept they should have checked her story more thoroughly. Note: This is a reference to hounds that get distracted from the trail of an animal they are hunting, for example because of another smell.
See also: off, scent, someone, throw
References in periodicals archive ?
Marty spins lie after lie to throw them off the scent and before he knows it he's spinning plates to keep the FBI, the Mexicans and tough teenage gang leader Ruth off his back.
Last time we went, our car was chased for two frantic miles by a pride of lions, my terrified son desperately flinging pieces of chicken out of the window to throw them off the scent.
To throw them off the scent of what might be for dinner, prankster Joe has written his menu in a warped mix of five languages.
Next, they filled out some dummy questionnaires about other topics to throw them off the scent of the experimental question.
Branding her father a "cold and calculating killer", she said: "This is a man who deliberately went out of his way to lie, deceive and proactively mislead the police to throw them off the scent and did not admit that he killed my mum until he was cornered and confronted.
They were given some cover story about the experiment being concerned with curvature of the spine to throw them off the scent.
Leeds Crown Court was told Humble, of Flodden Road, Sunderland, taunted police with a "cruel hoax" which could only have been intended to throw them off the scent of the Ripper.
When officers pulled Gavin Ridley over in a Volvo in Blaydon Avenue, South Shields, in February, he gave them the name of an old school friend in a bid to throw them off the scent.
It was the same type of trick or decoy that the Germans used against the Allies to throw them off the scent,'' he said, ``It was the same type of thing as a submarine being bombarded with depth charges and releasing bodies or clothing to fool the enemy into thinking they had been sunk.
But a fourth letter was sent to the museum from West London, leading detectives to believe the sender was moving around the country to throw them off the scent.
When police caught up with McKilligan, who had previous convictions for violent sex acts against young boys, he told a string of lies to throw them off the scent.
While colleagues gossip and Gil tries to throw them off the scent by wearing a selection of odd hats, the series gets stuck into two of preposterous deaths that are CSI's bread and butter.
Last time our car was chased for two frantic miles by a pride of lions, my terrified son desperately flinging pieces of chicken out of the window to throw them off the scent.
Police said that Jenny's killer is thought to have sent text messages from her phone to throw them off the scent.
Last night Det Con Hardie said a number of lines of enquiry were being followed and police are considering a theory that his accent may have been false to throw them off the scent.