'Hollywood Squares' Host Cops FOUND My Stolen Hippie Surfer Painting

12/13/2012 4:05 PM PST

'Hollywood Squares' Host -- Cops Found My Hippie Surfer Painting


Peter Marshall -- the original host of "Hollywood Squares" -- just got some GREAT NEWS ... cops found a painting of a Jesus-esque surfer bro that was stolen from his home nearly 30 years ago!!!

It's a crazy story -- the hippie-lookin' dude is actually "Brother Dave" ... aka Marshall's son Dave LaCock. Turns out Marshall had commissioned a local artist named Charles Bragg to paint the portrait more than 30 years ago.

But in 1982, some scumbag burglars broke into the TV legend's home and stole the art right off his wall .. along with several other items. Marshall reported the theft to police ... but the case went cold ... until last month. 

"Brother Dave" happened to surface at a flea market in Long Beach ... and was purchased by a woman named Shannon Turk, who was completely unaware it was stolen property.

Turk contacted the artist to find out about the painting ... and that's when she discovered it was still technically "hot" property. Turk immediately turned the portrait over to police.

TMZ spoke to Marshall, who tells us he is "thrilled" that Brother Dave has surfaced ... and looks forward to getting the painting back in his possession as soon as cops clear it for release.

Marshall adds, "Of all the paintings that were stolen, some were very valuable, and this was always the one I wanted returned."