A Texas man was rescued by police after getting stuck inside an ATM and slipping notes with pleas for help to customers through the machine.
The unidentified man is a maintenance contractor and had gone to a closed Bank of America location in the city of Corpus Christi to change the electronic lock in a small room that connects to the drive-through ATM.
While he was working, he accidentally became locked inside the room himself.
Speaking to KRIS, Corpus Christi Police Senior Officer Richard Olden described the incident as "a once in a lifetime situation that you will probably never see or hear again."
"He leaves his phone in his truck, he's installing a new lock on the door, and he gets locked inside the building, inside the little area where the ATM is," Olden explained.
Though the bank was closed, the ATM was still open, so customers were driving by and using the machine to take out cash. In a desperate bid for assistance, the contractor began scrawling notes onto little scraps of paper and sliding them through the receipt slot.
"He's slipping notes through the ATM … where you would get your receipt," Olden said.
KRIS was able to obtain one of the notes. It read: "Please help. I'm stuck in here and I don't have my phone. Please call my boss."
Someone called the police after a number of people reportedly dismissed it as a joke.
Olden said even the responding officers thought it was a joke.
"We come out here, and sure enough we can hear a little voice coming from the machine," he told KRIS. "So we are thinking this is a joke. It's got to be a joke."
The man was stuck in the ATM for about two hours before his boss arrived, at which point the police kicked down a door and got him out.
"Everyone is OK, but you will never see this in your life, that somebody was stuck in the ATM, it was just crazy," Olden said.
In other ATM news, four members of a large New York crime ring pleaded guilty to "skimming" ATM machines in order to steal card details and pin numbers.
Skimming involves the use of card-reading devices or pinhole cameras installed over keypads, according to ZDNet. In this particular case, the thieves were able to make off with more than $428,000.
Marcel Peckham, 43, Catalin Dragomir, 33, Eduard Ticu, 32, and Silvester Papp, 25, will each be charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.