But about a month later, strange photos started popping up Engstrom's photostream: Whoever had swiped the iPad from the plane had started taking bizarre "selfies" that were uploaded to the cloud and Engstrom's still-connected account.
Engstrom told Little Rock's ABC 10 News he and his wife and son spotted the woman's funny face pictures while at a doctor's office.
"We finally figured out that must be the new owner of my iPad," Engstrom said.
Engstrom, who said he's received about a dozen photos, has started a social media campaign to track the stolen device.
"The wonderful person who snaked my iPad continues to take glamour shots of herself apparently unaware that they are backing up to my iPhone," Engstrom wrote on Facebook. "So naturally I'm blasting them out to the entire world. Enjoy!"
The thief, who apparently hasn't figured out how to stop the automatic upload settings of the photo stream, did manage to turn off the "Find my iPad" and "photo locator," so he's hoping the photos will help him track her down.
All I have is her image and the power of social media to help me get my iPad back," Engstrom said.