Yeah I meant to ask about this too - I assumed the same sentence meaning as you.
I think it’s sort of tied to meaning 2, “to visit several places”. So it’s like his money can’t go that far / to that place. I assume it’s basically a slightly different slant on the English way of expressing that.
Okay, so it was obviously the painter, because he’s the one Alps reacts to. It could just be a reaction to the same smell of paint, but Spitz made a point of noting how strongly the smell of roses would come through if it were the florist, for example. Also, it specifically notes how tall the painter is, and the graffiti is painted really high up the door (beyond Spitz’ height, for example).
It doesn’t really give us enough story to guess the motive. However, we know that the old guy is a cheapskate, so maybe he never gets his building repainted, or he had it recently painted but refused to pay the full price. So this is probably a way for the painter to drum up more business, or perhaps enact revenge. Maybe he’s a vigilante extracting justice for the others in the form of paint jobs.
General comment on this story (spoilers for story one and my theory!): I’m a little disappointed that the detective work is based on scent work again. Especially as it doesn’t really tie into a specialty of Alps (apparently his ‘thing’ is that he’s big!) - Spitz even laments how he wishes he’d gone to fetch Bobo instead (the dog from the first story). I suppose there are limited ways a dog can help an investigation, and perhaps Alps will come into his own in the next part but even the solution appears to follow exactly the same pattern as story one - the dog correctly reacts to the culprit, but because nobody suspects them, they don’t realise..
Also, this story has a very long solution, and so I imagine we’ll learn more about the motivation in that part. It might have been nice if we’d received more clues on that front in the case, so that we could detect a little more ourselves..
@Micki - I totally think it is a ladybird after all