State v. Ross, ___ N.C. App. ___, 792 S.E.2d 155 (Oct. 4, 2016)

The trial court committed plain error in this safecracking case by instructing the jury that it could convict the defendant if it determined that he obtained the safe combination “by surreptitious means” when the indictment charged that he committed the offense by means of “a fraudulently acquired combination.” One essential element of the crime is the means by which the defendant attempts to open a safe. Here, there was no evidence that the defendant attempted to open the safe by the means alleged in the indictment.