Nicholson, who has been unemployed since 2008, says she is still nervous to even sit in her apartment and watch TV, because that's what she was doing last Thursday when police came knocking on the 50-year-old woman's door.
"I was just sitting here watching TV, waiting for Fed Ex delivery to come, and all of a sudden the banging on the door was much louder than a Fed Ex person would bang, and I turned around and looked, and it was the police," said Nicholson, who is known by friends and neighbors as Miss D.
Nicholson allowed a news camera into her home for the first time on Wednesday as she described her surprising arrest.
Between 10 and 12 officers came through the door, one of them holding a search warrant, then handcuffed her, and told her to sit at the dining room table as they searched her apartment for stolen credit cards, according to Nicholson.
Officers went through her freezer and looked through papers in the living room but focused mainly on her bedroom, she said.
"They totally just took everything out of drawers, out of the closet and from under the bed, and just scattered it everywhere," Nicholson said.
According to Nicholson, detectives told her they had multiple sources calling in to implicate her as the person responsible for a recent string of credit card thefts that targeted elderly women.
A woman named Cassandra Henry was arrested in Los Angeles on Tuesday and is now accused of committing the crimes Nicholson was arrested for. Both women are black and heavy-set.
A mother of two adult sons, Nicholson is now nervous that some people will still think she is a criminal.
"I don't know in the future what the reception is going to be," Nicholson said. "I haven't been out of the house a lot."
She spent Wednesday visiting with family, contemplating legal action against the police department and trying to figure out how she will pay for her attorney fees. She also wants her belongings that were taken as evidence -- including a receipt from Wal-Mart, her sunglasses and a postcard from a friend -- back from the police.
"I definitely want my stuff back," Nicholson said. "I want my computer back. I want my personal letters back. Oh, they took some wigs of mine. I want my hair back. I want all of it back."