Apple 2.0

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Thieves grab 3,600 Apple iPad minis from JFK Airport

November 15, 2012: 10:34 AM ET

Beats waiting in line at the Apple Store, says the New York Post

Scene of the crime: JFK's Building 261

FORTUNE -- A gang of thieves Monday night made off with 3,600 Pad minis that had just arrived at JFK Airport from China.

According to Thursday's New York Post, the gang struck shortly before midnight, using one of the airport's own forklifts to load two pallets containing 1,800 tablets each onto a tractor trailer. They might have made off with three more pallets had they not been interrupted by an airport worker.

The Post put the value of the haul at $1.5 million -- $417 per mini -- although fences don't usually pay full price for stolen Apple (AAPL) products.

Investigators suspect an inside job. Operating on the theory that someone with security clearance let the thieves in and out, they have already subjected three airport workers to polygraph tests.

The Post notes that Cargo Building 261, where the iPads were stored, was the site 24 years earlier of the $5 million "Lufthansa" heist recreated in Martin Scorcese's Goodfellas.

UPDATE: FBI arrests JFK worker in heist of 3,600 Apple iPad minis

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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