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Welcome home . . . Oamaru artist Ryan Moore's children (from left) Buddy (5), Coco (8) and Goldie (9) are excited about the return of their dad's skateboard. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Ryan Moore has always believed in the kindness of strangers – and the overwhelming response to his appeal for information on his missing skateboard has only confirmed that.

The Oamaru artist lost his distinctive Nick Cave-painted skateboard, which had great sentimental value, on September 8 and, after making appeals on social media to no avail, offered a reward for its return in a story in the Oamaru Mail.

On November 29, the day the story was printed, Mr Moore received a message from a local man who had seen the skateboard at a nearby house and gave him the name of the former homeowner.

After some investigative work, Mr Moore tracked down the man, with whom he shared a mutual friend, in Ashburton.

“I asked if [the mutual friend] could message him and inquire – and I got a message back saying he did have [the skateboard],” he said.

The man dropped the skateboard at Mr Moore’s uncle’s house and “it was back in my hot little hand within four days of the story going to print,” Mr Moore said.

The man told Mr Moore he found the skateboard outside his house on September 9. He put it in his garage and it got packed away when he moved to Ashburton.

“We had a huge response to the story, with my wife and I constantly fielding [questions] if had been located, from friends and strangers alike,” Mr Moore said.

“I couldn’t be happier with the result, it’s literally a dreams come true’ situation.

“Huge thanks goes out to the Oamaru Mail, the eagle-eyed worker, who refused the reward, the school friend, the finder and everyone else who collectively brought my board back – I owe you all a beer.”