The 3,600 tablets were part of a shipment of five pallets of the products that had only recently arrived from China, the New York Post reported Thursday.
The thieves used airport forklifts to load two pallets of the electronic goods into a tractor-trailer that entered the terminal about 11 p.m. Monday.
An airport worker returning from dinner challenged the intruders, who drove off without taking any more of the merchandise, a source told the newspaper.
Police have given three airport workers polygraph tests.
Some $5 million in cash and $900,000 in jewelry was stolen from the same building in 1978. That robbery has been ranked as the largest in American history and was depicted in the Martin Scorsese film "Goodfellas."