Daring million-dollar iPad heist at JFK sounds like script from ‘Goodfellas’

Posted at 10:55 AM, Nov 16, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-18 08:25:57-05

QUEENS, NY (PIX11) — Port Authority Police were investigating a late Monday night heist of 3,600 mini iPads from a cargo area at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

It happened in the same building where the five million dollar Lufthansa ‘job’ took place in 1978, a caper that was a centerpiece in the Martin Scorsese film, “Goodfellas”.

“The Port Authority Police suspect this was an ‘inside job’ and they’re pursuing leads” said Ron Marsico, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airport.Marsico would not comment on one report that employees working in Building 261, where the theft took place, were given polygraph tests.  The mini iPads were worth about $1.5 million dollars.

This is the area where the heist of iPad minis possibly took place.

Marsico told PIX 11 the heist happened between Monday night and early Tuesday morning.  Building 261 is located on airport grounds in south Queens, but one entrance is accessible from a public roadway.   The New York Post reported a white tractor-trailer arrived at Cargo Airport Services (CAS) around 11 pm Monday night, with thieves using an airport forklift to load two pallets of mini iPads onto a truck, before an employee coming back from dinner interrupted them.  They left three other pallets behind.

PIX 11 showed up at CAS Thursday afternoon and went into the cargo area, where workers were going about their business, using forklifts to load products onto trucks.

The scene from the film “Goodfellas” where Henry Hill learns the Lufthansa heist was a success. The iPad mini heist occurred in the same building as the 1978 crime that was worth $5 million.

A man who identified himself as the Assistant General Manager at CAS told us we were inside a “bonded” area, as a security manager told us if we didn’t have any cargo business, we needed to leave.

The Assistant General Manager did tell us the Port Authority Police—and the FBI—are handling the investigation, acknowledging to PIX 11 the incident was upsetting.

The theft of the popular, mini iPads came just before the busy, holiday shopping season.  Each iPad retails at a starting price of $329—but can sell for $529, for customers who want more ‘memory’ and storage capabilities.