Being seen taking any owned item will get you a bounty and if your not seen rarely you get Hired Thugs sent after you. You'll see red text under your crosshair if taking an item is considered stealing.
The miner that has been frozen for ages wrote: i agree its just funny. theres a video showing a dragonborn who punched a child but no one was trying to kill him so he decided to steal a tomato and a guard beheaded him.
Once I stole a sweet role and then a guard said "let me guess someone took your sweet role?" But anyway if someone saw you take it then you have a bounty. But if you do it quiet and sneaky when the eye is closed you can take it. (Tip) Take it when the people have buckets on they're heads.