A whistle blower at the Roses Store in Kinston said outside lights were shut off for about a month, putting employees at risk in a neighborhood known for robberies.
"It's just, it's not a safe feeling coming out," the employee said in an interview Friday. "We're all female employees here, and when we close up, it's not a good feeling."
The latest robbery to hit the area happened several blocks from Roses.
Five men ages 16 to 20 were charged for armed robberies at the Walgreens on North Herritage Street three weeks ago.
The Roses employee who exposed the matter said even during daylight hours, the area is unsafe.
"The Cashpoint in front of our store, a guy tried to rob a girl in broad daylight," said the woman. "The First Citizens Bank right around the corner had been robbed. So what's going to stop [criminals] from trying anything at night in pitch black?"
Attempts to reach Roses corporate offices Friday evening were unsuccessful. The land lord's name could not be disclosed by the store manager.
Four hours after a news crew went into the store, the parking lot lights were illuminated once again. The whistle blower hopes it stays that way.
Roses' Kinston store manager offered said Friday she did not know whether the lights would be turned on. She declined to comment further on the situation.