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In HeartGold I am currently Thiefing Magnemite to try to get a Metal Coat. I am using a Raticate that doesn't have a held item. When I use Thief, how will the game let me know I have obtained the Metal Coat? Will there be text on the battle screen? Do I have to check the summary of my Pokemon? Do I have to kill/catch the Pokemon first? I don't have a Pokemon with frisk currently although I'm thinking about finding one.

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It alerts you when you steal an item. The message is Pokemon stole the foe's Pokemon item!
Source: https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/File:Thief_IV.png

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Bro thank you so much
No problem
I have another strategy for finding metal coats in HGSS: I lead with a Butterfree with compound eyes, making the magnemites have a higher chance to hold the metal coat, then I put it to sleep with sleep powder, then I catch it
True, that works well too.