Steal An ability used by either the Thief, Rogue, Assassin, or Whisper classes. It is an ability they have along with the lock picking ability that allows them to open doors without keys and also open chests without chest keys.
Steal allows the player to take an unequipped item from an adjacent foe. This allows a player to take desired items other then those that are already automatically dropped by enemies. When an item is stolen it is then added to the theif's inventory, if a theif has a full inventory (or in the case of Path of Radiance, if the section of invetory in which the item belongs) is full, the item can not be stolen from the enemy. This can be fixed by trading the item to another one of the player's characters.
For an item to be stolen the Thief/Assassin/Rogue doing the stealing's speed stat must be higher then then the unit they are stealing from. Although this is usually so as theive classes naterally have very high speed.
Steal is one of the two soldier skills that are in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. The other is Knife (the ability to wield knives, which theives also had) in the sequel Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn knives became their own weapon class. The soilder skills were seperated from the 'Citizen' skills on the character information page. Also soldier skills could not be removed, there was no skill cost for them, and there were no scrolls that taught them (although magic users could gain the ability to use knives upon promoting).
In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn Steal was completely adopted into the then better developed skill system. It became simply a skill all thieves had (Volke, Sothe and Heather). Like in Path of Radiance it had no skill cost and also it could not be removed from a character with it.