A Texas man who found himself trapped inside a cash machine slipped "help me" notes through the receipt slot.

The man, who police say was working on a renovation of the bank, left his phone in his vehicle before getting stuck in the drive-thru ATM's vault.

The unnamed workman was freed after shouting to ATM users, who continued withdrawing cash throughout his ordeal on Wednesday in Corpus Christi.

Police thought it a hoax before kicking in a door to withdraw him.

"Sure enough, we can hear a little voice coming from the machine, so we're all thinking this is a joke, it's gotta be a joke," said police officer Richard Olden.

One handwritten note slipped by the trapped man to a customer said: "Please Help.

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