ALBANY -- The final two known campers on the Albany Bulb were arrested and removed from the property early Thursday morning along with one other person, as the city moved to end the prolonged standoff at the waterfront site.

Amber Whitson and Phillip Lewis were taken into custody around 4 a.m. Thursday for violating California Penal Code Section 647 (e), a misdemeanor for lodging "in any building, structure, vehicle or place, whether public or private, without the permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession or in control of it."

Also taken into custody was Erik Eisenberg, who apparently was camping with Whitson and Lewis as a show of support.

The three were taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin where they were booked, said Eileen Harrington, of Albany's administrative staff.

They were booked and released, said Sgt. J.D. Nelson at Santa Rita, adding that no court date has been set.

A news release issued by supporters of Whitson and Lewis claimed that a "large contingent of Albany police, some carrying guns including assault rifles," arrested the three people. Harrington said Albany police and firefighters were on hand to assist the Public Works Department workers in removing the campsite.

The release stated that the three were held for six hours and released. The couple's two dogs were taken to Berkeley Animal Control Services.

Harrington said, "Their property was removed and put into storage."

Whitson and Lewis were the last of an estimated 60 people who were camping at the Bulb since last year, when the city began preparations to remove the campers. The land is slated to be turned over to the East Bay Regional Park District to be made part of the Sylvia McLaughlin Eastshore State Park.

The Bulb, which once was the city dump, has been slated to be turned over to the district for years. However, the EBRPD won't accept the property as long as people are living there.

Homeless camps on the Bulb first appeared at least two decades ago. The camps were a combination of people who wanted to "drop out" of society, artists and others with no other place to live. There are many reports over the years of local police departments encouraging homeless people to move there rather than camp out on city streets.

Albany removed the camps in 1999 but they soon returned. The city council voted a year ago to begin enforcing the city's anti-camping ordinance and also approved various support services to provide housing to the campers. An emergency shelter was set up at the waterfront, but only one to three people used it on any given night.

The city has claimed that 22 people have been placed in housing thanks to a program run by the Berkeley Food and Housing Project and funded by the city. Reports elsewhere are that many of those displaced can be found nearby around Gilman Street in Berkeley.

A month ago, Albany reached a settlement in a lawsuit filed by several campers and their advocates about the city's plans to remove the homeless from the Bulb.

The settlement paid campers $3,000 in return for vacating the Bulb and signing a promise not to return there or to certain other city properties for at least one year. Twenty-eight people accepted the terms.

Whitson and Lewis were the only eligible plaintiffs not to sign the settlement. Instead, they requested the judge in the case dismiss their claims without prejudice. The judge granted the request.