Federal agents arrested Renel Rene Richardson because he allegedly made suspicious inquiries to co-workers about the gadget shipment and where forklifts might be found, the New York Post reported.
Someone using an airport forklift stole the iPads Nov. 12.
Richardson, who allegedly worked with two other people to pull off the heist, is accusing of acting as a lookout, court papers state.
The other accused criminals, whose names were not reported, loaded two pallets of iPads onto a truck and drove away after another worker confronted them, officials said.
The iPads have not been recovered.