The others figure it was Rocket that took them, and they're all pissed off.
I always say, they took my pen or they took my umbrella.
but here that sounds like: non living being came to life and took something.
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Because 'that' is a relative pronoun in this context, and relative pronouns can connect phrases or clauses to a noun or pronoun. 'They' is a regular pronoun (in the form of the subject of the sentence), and regular pronouns cannot connect phrases or clauses to a noun or pronoun. 'Who' and 'which' can be similar to 'that' in this context.
Examples using relative pronouns:
The same examples using regular pronouns (this is also correct):
Here are examples of what you should not write:
Now, it should be noted that some native speakers neglect to properly connect elements of sentences how they should in informal, written language (but that doesn't mean they're doing what is correct). You might see this a lot in text messages.
It's an emphatic sentence: "It is/was... that.... " "That" is a relative pronoun.
In this context, it emphasizes the subject "Rocket", "Rocket took them".
Here is another example: "It is Mrs. White that makes the decision in her family." Here emphasizes Mrs. White (not anyone else makes the decision).
Hope this help.